Director Jonathan Teplitzky, writer Chris Nyst and producer Chris Brown are developing Mr Cranky, a black comedy in the vein of their 2003 hit Gettin’ Square.

The protagonist is a professional boxer with anger management issues who wins eight out of 10 fights; he settles the other two in the car park. The plot follows the character as he deals with his six-year-old daughter from whom he is estranged.

Brown’s Pictures in Paradise is developing the project with the assistance of Screen Queensland. It’s early days on casting but Brown tells IF that given the universality of the story, the lead will be a high profile actor with international appeal. It’s set partly in the UK and Brown says a co-production with the UK is a possibility.

The saga of an ex-crim who was jailed for a murder he claims he didn’t commit and aims to get square with a crooked cop, Gettin’ Square starred Sam Worthington, David Wenham, Gary Sweet and David Field.

Brown co-produced The Railway Man with the UK’s Andy Paterson and Bill Curbishley. Based on a true story, the drama stars Colin Firth as Eric Lomax, who is forced to revisit the trauma of his WWII experiences as a prisoner of war, with Nicole Kidman as his wife, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine and Hiroyuki Sanada.  It opens here on 117 screens on Boxing Day via Transmission Films.

He aims to start shooting Mr Cranky in the second half of 2014 after completing a remake of Bloodsport, the 1988 action-thriller that starred Jean Claude Van Damme. Australian-born James McTeigue (The Raven, Ninja Assassin, V for Vendetta) will direct the new version written by fellow Aussie Craig Rosenberg. The plot  follows mercenaries who clash with underground figures in Brazil.

Brown is producing with Edward R. Pressman (who produced the original), US financier/distributor Relativity Media, Alberto Lensi and Trans-American Films International. It will shoot primarily in Queensland using the 40% producer offset.

The producer is delighted with the critical responses to The Railway Man and says pre-release tracking indicates high awareness. Teplitzky has been promoting the film with Q&A sessions around Australia.

Lionsgate is releasing the film in the UK on January 10. There’s no launch date yet in the US where The Weinstein Co. bought the rights.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.