Kane Guglielmi’s quarantine comedy ‘Cooped Up’ is back in vogue

‘Cooped Up.’

Kane Guglielmi’s prophetic, 2016 quarantine-set romantic comedy Cooped Up is enjoying a second life – and sparking controversy.

Charles Cottier stars as Jake, a bitter, semi-professional wrestler who is forced to stay in his childhood home for 21 days after coming into contact with a potentially fatal virus.

Jake’s only connection to the outside world is medic Emily (Kathryn Beck), who checks on his symptoms each day. The cast includes the ubiquitous Stephen Peacocke and Adam Demos.

It screened on 10 Peach on May 1 and will premiere in the US on OTT service Crackle Plus on May 14.

However Network 10 removed the opening 3-second dedication to Kane’s brother, who took his own life when he was a kid. The dedication card was placed at the end of the credits but in some regions the credits weren’t even played.

The director protested strongly, telling the network: “To think that such a significant person, and moment in the life of myself and my family, was carelessly edited in attempt to alter the film for no good reason is extremely hurtful.

“My brother loved comedy, loved to joke, and loved to laugh. I always imagined he’d be proud of me for making Cooped Up.”

That drew an abject apology from director of programming Daniel Monaghan, who described the editing as “unfortunate and unintentional” and assured the director/producer the dedication will appear at the front of the movie when it screens on 10 Play.

Guglielmi, who now lives in Italy, worked on the screenplay with writer John Ratchford after hearing about a virus which forced people to quarantine at home.

“We both agreed it was quite an unusual concept and given the fact that we had a limited budget, we were looking for an idea that could be made in a contained space and we decided to run with it,” he said.

“I never dreamed its concept would become a reality for millions worldwide. During this time, my hope is that it becomes a feel-good distraction for everyone in need of a little light-heartedness.”

The film was originally released on VOD followed by sales to the Nine Network, Foxtel and Quickflix. Six months ago Foxtel secured the cable rights.

The deal with Crackle Plus, a joint venture between Sony Pictures Television and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, is the first overseas sale. Talks are underway with prospective European buyers.