Miss Potter and Sparkle on the Isle of Man
by Annika Pham
Two major feature films start filming this week on the Isle of Man: Chris Noonan’s highly anticipated Miss Potter, starring Renee Zelwegger, and Sparkle, by Neil Hunter and Tom Husinger, featuring Bob Hoskins.
Miss Potter is one of Britain’s biggest independent films of 2006 with a €20.5m budget, including a €1.7m grant from the UK Film Council’s Premiere Fund and funding from the Isle of Man Film, which is acting as equity investor. The US/UK co-production is being produced by Mike Medavoy, Arnie Messer, David Thwaites, Corey Sienega and David Kirschner of Phoenix Pictures and David Kirschner Productions.
The first feature film by the Australian-born Noonan since his 1995 hit Babe focuses on the famous UK children’s literature novelist Beatrix Potter’s first steps into publishing and her struggles against a domineering mother and a chauvinistic Victorian society. Zellweger plays Beatrix, Ewan McGregor her publisher and lover Norman Warne, and Emily Watson, Warne’s sister.
The film will feature computer-generated images to illustrate Potter’s famous characters, such as Peter Rabbit or Tiggywinkle. The film, which starts shooting tomorrow, will be released in the UK by Momentum Pictures and in US by The Weinstein Company. International sales are being handled by Summit International Sales.
Sparkle is the new feature film from the creators of the 2000 UK film The Lawless Heart, directors Hunter and Hunsinger, and producer Martin Pope. The latter is making the film with his producer/partner in Magic Light Pictures Michael Rose, who previously worked as executive producer on Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit [+see also:
Sparkle started shooting yesterday and stars Hoskins, Shaun Evans, Stockard Channing, Anthony Head and Amanda Ryan. It tells the story of Sam Sparks, who leaves Liverpool and his mum to make it in London. There he sleeps his way to the top only to find himself in a situation similar to Dustin Hoffman’s in The Graduate.
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