August 4, 2008

Welsh’s Debut As Director Put on Hold

IRVINE Welsh's directorial debut has been put on hold after Scottish Screen withdrew GBP 400,000 funding.

Despite reportedly securing Billy Connolly for the lead, and Trainspotting's Ewen Bremner (Spud) being lined up as the nephew seeking vengeance for his murdered budgies, The Man Who Walks failed to attract the GBP 1.6 million required to shoot.

The film's Edinburgh-based producer, Mark Cousins, claimed that the movie would be filmed this spring, but a 12 per cent hole in finances meant the production, based on Alan Warner's novel of the same name, had to be shelved. As well as writing the screenplay, Welsh had chosen it for his directorial debut.

Last year, GBP 400,000 was awarded by Scottish Screen, the public body which allocates lottery cash for the making of Scottish feature films.

The one-year time limit on the money has now expired, though producers will be able to re-apply.

Connolly and Bremner are thought still to be committed to the film, but shooting will not take place this year.

Another Welsh-Cousins collaboration, The Meat Trade, which is based on Burke and Hare and due to star Robert Carlyle and Colin Firth, has been repeatedly postponed.

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