As regular readers will know, I’ve been running my own publishing imprint, Prydain Press, for a few years now. So I’m delighted to announce today that I’m branching out into movies. Prydain Film Productions officially launches this month, with financial backing from a range of sources including one of the major streaming services.
To give you a taste of what’s in the pipeline, here are some of the story concepts currently in development:
The Haworth Honeys
A story loosely based on the lives of the Brontë sisters. Three Yorkshire sisters, Charlie, Emmy, and Annie, decide to follow their dreams by forming a band. To avoid the disapproval of their strict clergyman father, their jealous brother, and their censorious neighbours in the village of Haworth, the young women rehearse in secret and adopt male disguises when performing in public. But once the group land a spot on a major television talent show, the sisters have no option but to reveal their true identities. The boy band is at last a girl band!
The Haworth Honeys is an inspiring, heartwarming tale of young women overcoming the many obstacles in their path on the way to global stardom, fuelled by self-belief, grit, talent, and cosmetic surgery.
Lady Chatterjee’s Lover
A story set during the twilight of the British Raj. Lady Chandrani Chatterjee is the beautiful but frustrated wife of a high-caste campaigner for Indian independence. Her husband is paralysed from the waist down after being injured in a violent confrontation with the Indian police. She begins a secret affair with Thakur, the gardener on her husband’s estate.
Lady Chatterjee’s Lover is the first erotic-romance movie in the Bollywood style, as well as a searing indictment of British imperialism and the Indian caste system. It will be shot on location at a well-known English country estate (negotiations with the National Trust are underway), and several leading Indian actors have already expressed a keen interest in the starring roles.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Temple of British (un)Worthies
A mash-up of Shakespeare and social justice themes. One midsummer night, Oberon and Titania, king and queen of the fairies, come to Stowe Gardens to visit the famous Temple of British Worthies. An argument breaks out between them, as to whether the people represented by the statuary really are all that worthy. To settle the matter, they bring the statues to life. Milton, Lock, Shakespeare, Newton, and the rest are then instructed to justify their lives, thoughts, actions, privileges, micro-aggressions, and heteronormativity before a citizen’s jury, composed of Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed, and five randomly selected students from the University of Warwick.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Temple of British (un)Worthies confronts some of the key issues of our time with a heady mix of fantasy, justified anger, nuanced sensitivity, and critical thinking.
The Nutwood Chainsaw Massacre
A fresh, modern, edgy, subversive, challenging re-boot of the Rupert Bear universe. Rupert Bear. The Professor experiments with genetic engineering, breeding a new race of servant bears using DNA taken from Rupert. Bill Badger founds a new religion, based on a Book of Badger supposedly found hidden in a deserted sett. And Rupert Bear learns that Nutwood’s ancient woodland is to be felled to make way for a new high-speed rail route. Rupert enlists the help of Raggety and the other twig creatures to combat the tree fellers but soon finds he has unleashed dark, pagan forces.
The hitherto idyllic world of Nutwood is shattered, with the clash between biotechnology, religion, and nature playing out against a backdrop of climate change and environmental destruction. The Nutwood Chainsaw Massacre promises to be a milestone in the folk-horror genre.
No production dates have been agreed for these projects as yet. In the meantime, watch this space for further updates.