Stormbreaks on Isle of Man
by Annika Pham
Stormbreaker a new spy kid movie based on the adventures of 14-year-old special agent Alex Rider created by successful novelist/scriptwriter Anthony Horowitz is going to start shooting next week on the Isle of Man.
The mainstream project which the UK producers Marc and Peter Samuelson hope will become a successful series like the Harry Potter franchise, stars newcomer Alex Pettyfer, Ewan McGregor as the hero’s uncle, Mickey Rourke as the villain, and Bill Nighy as Alex’s secret services teacher at MI6.
Behind the camera is Geoffrey Sax (White Noise) who will put into images the script written by Horowitz himself.
Horowitz wrote six Alex Rider adventures so far of which Stormbreaker, the first of the series, sold over one million copies to date. The most recent of his books "Ark Angel", was published last May in the UK and sold 170,000 copies in its first week, taking the top of the kids’ bestseller list.
It was The Isle of Man who originally bought the rights to the six Alex Rider’s adventures stories in Cannes 2002 and financed the development of the script. They then looked for the best production partners for the project and got Samuelson Productions on board who had already served as executive producers on several Isle of Man supported films including the forthcoming comedy Keeping Mum with Rowan Atkinson, The Libertine with Johnny Depp and John Malkovich and Chromophobia, the closing night film of this year’s Cannes Film Festival
Stormbreaker is thus a Samuelson Productions co-produced by Steve Christian of the Isle of Man and Andreas Grosch of Germany’s VIP Medienfonds 4, in association with Rising Star. The UK Film Council Premiere Fund also invested a healthy £2.3m (€3.4m) into the film, among the largest-scale independent UK film projects ever. North American rights were bought by the Weinstein Company last May in Cannes, and UK rights by Entertainment Film Distributors. World sales are handled by Capitol Films.
The Isle of Man’s Steve Christian said: "Filming Stormbreaker this summer is a fitting way to start our 10th anniversary of filming on the Isle of Man. Ten years on, we are continuing to create new models for British independent film." The Isle of Man has around £23m (€34m) per annum to invest as equity partner in mainstream feature films shooting locally. Currently filming until July 10th is Charles Sturridge’s Irish/UK coproduction Lassie starring Peter O’Toole.
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