Some PI production plums from 2015

Doctor StrangeWell, another busy year of filmmaking and TV production has gone by and Production Intelligence has gone from strength to strength.

As you know, we aim to bring you comprehensive news of projects as they move from development towards pre-production, updating you with names, locations and shoot dates as filming approaches.

But in some instances we like to go that little bit further and give you an exclusive – a nugget of news that we want to share with you ahead of an official announcement.

Here we take a look back at just some of the ‘we-had-it-first’ plums we provided for our valued subscribers in 2015.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Russell T Davies – who knew?

Well, we did actually. We announced the project to our subscribers on 3 July last year, nearly two whole months before it was ‘unveiled’ by BBC One controller Charlotte Moore at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. Take the greatest English playwright that ever lived, throw in a brilliant TV scribe, mix well with some dedicated PI research, and as the bard himself said in the play, “Take pains. Be perfect.”

The Marvel-lous Benedict Cumberbatch

Doctor Strange Benedict Cumberbatch It was well over a year ago when we first announced that Marvel’s blockbuster Doctor Strange would film here in the UK, later updating you all with the studio details. But we also had a lovely scoop when we announced in mid-April 2015 that filming was due to begin at the end of November, with a definite start date verified in mid-October. Even the Sorcerer Supreme couldn’t magic up that kind of info.

Brad Pitt’s War Machine got ready to rumble  

Brad Pitt The much-hyped Netflix show starring Brad Pitt was written about on numerous industry websites. But in late July, we confirmed exclusively to our PI subscribers that it was definitely heading to shoot on these shores, and subsequently updated with crucial UK hires such as the location manager and production co-ordinator. And what’s more, we are to see Bradders with silver hair in this one…

A scoop of Steven Spielberg, please

Talking of blockbusters, we were very excited in late November to break the news that Steven Spielberg’s much-anticipated sci-fi feature, Ready Player One, is heading to film in the UK this summer. As with all Spielberg pictures, it promises to be a behemoth, with several months of pre-production. As the extraordinary director himself said: "People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don't have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning."

Jackie Chan kicks his way to the UK

Jackie Chan Jackie Chan’s latest feature, The Foreigner, began filming in London in late November last year, but PI subscribers first got wind of the action thriller on 1 October, along with the name of the studio. Apart from racking up over 150 feature film appearances to date, the multi-hyphenate and martial arts supremo is also a respected philanthropist so he gets our vote every time.  

Brad goes back to his roots (and we’re not talking about his hair)

Brad Pitt FuryBack to Brad Pitt again, and our news on his next project as an actor, a romantic thriller set against the backdrop of World War Two. Co-starring Marion Cotillard, the feature is from GK Films and screenwriter Steven Knight. It seems projects with a military theme are currently a good fit for Pitt…

Britannia rules the waves

Hadrian's Wall In mid-November we brought you news of a hefty new drama based on the birth of Great Britain from Roman times onwards. Britannia is a whopping 10 x 60, and marks yet another notch in the belt for Wales as a major filming location. We outlined the production company, line producer and casting director, and look forward to providing more details as filming draws nearer. Vivat Productio Intelligentia.

A bespoke announcement for PI subscribers

Last year, on 30 November, the industry was abuzz with the official announcement of a major new period drama set in the world of high fashion in the 1940s. PI subscribers, however, knew all about The Collection ten days earlier, when we published detailed info on the project including the line producer, casting director, producer, director, locations and dates. 

Shakespeare gets a rock ‘n’ roll makeover

Craig PearceIt may be more Will.i.Am than William as the world’s most famous playwright is to get the rock star treatment from screenwriter and Baz Luhrmann collaborator Craig Pearce (pictured). Will, a major pilot, is set to shoot in the spring in the UK – news brought to you on PI on 11 November along with names of the casting director, line producer and production designer. We think this is more of a case of As You Like It than Much Ado About Nothing.

So there you have it. Some lovely juicy Production Intelligence plums from 2015 – keeping you one step ahead. Here’s to another great year for the industry in 2016.

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Photos via Getty Images Ent: Andrew Burton; Dimitrios Kambouris; Kevin Lee; Stephane L'hostis.

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