Mirren reunites with Queen producer
by Naman Ramachandran
Dame Helen Mirren, who won this year’s Best Actress Oscar for The Queen [+see also:
interview: Andy Harries
interview: Stephen Frears
film profile], is all set to work again with the film’s producer Andy Harries (see interview). The yet-untitled new project will be a human-interest drama set in the Gaza Strip.
Mirren is slated to star as the mother of a journalist whose love affair with a Palestinian results in her death. Harries’ newly minted production company Left Bank Pictures will handle production duties.
A spokesman for the company told a news agency, “There is no contract and only a very early script but it is safe to say that if it does go ahead – and there is no reason to assume it won't – then Helen will be involved”.
The film will also see Mirren reunited with Philip Martin and Frank Deasy who respectively directed and wrote portions of the hit television series Prime Suspect for which Mirren has won three BAFTA TV Awards and has been nominated for three more. She is currently filming National Treasure: Book of Secrets that stars Nicholas Cage.
Harries, who was controller of drama at ITV productions, branched out on his own in May 2007 with Left Bank Pictures, promising “intelligent and popular” films for broadcasters in the UK and worldwide. The BBC has bought a 25% stake in the company, giving it a first-look distribution deal on all Left Bank television productions.
The BBC’s worldwide director of independents Helen Jackson takes a place on the board. The company’s head of film is Jenny Borgars, the former head of the UK Film Council’s development fund.
Harries said, “This is a tremendously exciting time to launch a new company. We have assembled a creative team that I am confident can generate distinctive and talked-about ideas that will stand out in a crowded marketplace and I am very excited about the challenges ahead”.
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