Just a few months ago, Vertigo was a fairly small British distributor bringing out arthouse films like Humpday and Dogging: A Love Story. Indeed when they announced they were going to start co-producing mainstream 3D films – indeed the first British digital 3D movie ever – instead of just buying in other people’s movies and producing relatively low budget niche flicks, some thought they might be over-reaching themselves, as many other smaller British film outfits have done. However now the first 3D film it actively helped make, Streetdance, has become a big UK box office hit, outgrossing the likes of Prince Of Persia, and has made significant money in the rest of Europe.
That’s galvanised Vertigo to announce their second 3D live action project, which will be based on Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry books. It’s a significant move, as while the character may not be popular with most adults, it’s second only to Harry Potter in the British children’s book stakes, having sold 16 million copies in the UK and been translated into 27 different languages. There’s therefore a huge built-in audience is the film is done well.
Variety reports that editor Nick Moore (Love Actually, Nanny McPhee) will direct, while Lucinda Whiteley is on scripting duties. Casting has apparently already begun, looking for a young actor to play the titular Henry, who constantly wages war against the tyranny of adults, and finds an unlikely alliance with his little brother, Perfect Peter, and next door neighbour, Moody Margaret.
Shooting is scheduled to begin in October, with a release set for next year.
Is this the start of Vertigo becoming a true British filmmaking force? If it can get a few more Streetdance sized hits under its belt, it may well be.