As the JBIFC noted on May 17, the new drama, called The Silent Storm, will see EON team up with WestEnd and Neon Film, and the award-winning British actors Damian Lewis (of Homeland fame) and Andrea Riseborough have been cast in the lead roles. The new project was recently promoted around the buyer’s circuit at the May 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
It has now been confirmed that EON will executive produce and finance the new film, which will be set in the 1950s, with producing duties also being taken by Nicky Bentham, of Neon Film. Moreover, the story has been written by the award-winning director and writer Corinna Villari-McFarlane, an upcoming talent in the British film industry. Riseborough will play a free-spirited woman living in a small community on a remote Scottish island, who is caught between her strong-willed and austere husband, a Presbyterian Minister (played by Lewis), and a 17-year old delinquent teenager.
Barbara Broccoli, interviewed briefly by the film industry news source ScreenDaily, commented: ‘It is very exciting to be working with Corinna, a director who has a fresh female voice and a strong creative vision. Her inspiring script has attracted two of Britain’s most talented actors and we believe that she will make a powerful film’.
The Bond producer, looking ahead to other non-Bond projects which may also be backed by EON in the future, added: ‘We’re always interested in the potential of other projects whether it’s feature film, documentary or theatre…’.
Writing in his column in the UK’s Sunday newspaper The Observer (May 26), the film critic Jason Solomons has revealed that he, too, was able to speak to Broccoli at Cannes about EON’s new film venture, and he managed to glean some further details. Broccoli told Solomons that the script and forceful personality of writer-director Corinna Villari-McFarlane convinced her to take on the project: ‘I was so excited that I read it twice. When I also found behind it a young, gutsy British female film-maker… well, I’m a big believer there should definitely be more of those’.
Broccoli also hinted to Solomons there may be a slew of other varied film projects to follow.
Damian Lewis, commenting about his new role, told the Observer: ‘I can’t wait to work with Andrea at last and get our teeth into these meaty roles. There’s nothing so rewarding for a film actor as the intensity of an intimate shoot like this will be, isolated away in a beautiful part of the world’.
Filming on The Silent Storm, which will use a mainly British film crew, is due to begin in late June, 2013, the main location being the atmospheric Scottish Isle of Mull.