RICHARD GRIFFITHS, FRANCES DE LA TOUR, JACK O’CONNELL, GEORGE MACKAY AND ALEXANDRA ROACH TO STAR IN MICHAEL MORPURGO’S PRIVATE PEACEFUL
Principal photography to commence on 31st August 2011
London, 2011 – Fluidity Films are delighted to announce principal photography on feature film Private Peaceful.
Shooting on location in Ipswich and Suffolk, Private Peaceful, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo (War Horse), is written by Simon Reade (his debut screenplay) and directed by Pat O’Connor (Circle of Friends, Dancing at Lughnasa, Cal).
The all British cast is made up of George MacKay (The Boys are Back, Birdsong), Jack O’Connell (Eden Lake, Harry Brown, Skins), Richard Griffiths (Harry Potter, The History Boys, Withnail & I), Alexandra Roach (The Iron Lady), Frances De La Tour (Alice in Wonderland, The History Boys, The Book of Eli).
The Private Peaceful score is to be composed by Mark Knopfler. A successful solo singer-songwriter and formerly leader of Dire Straits, Knopfler has composed scores for a number of films, including Local Hero, Cal, Last Exit To Brooklyn, Wag The Dog and The Princess Bride.
Private Peaceful is set in rural Devon from 1908 and in the Front Line trenches of Flanders during the First World War. The story follows the life of Tommo Peaceful (Samuel Bottomley & George MacKay) from the accident in the forest that kills his doting father James (Stephen Kennedy), the affection of his loving mother Hazel (TBA) and the camaraderie enjoyed with his older brothers Charlie (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin & Jack O’Connell) and Big Joe (Kyle Summercorn). Tommo tries to overcome the challenges that his young life throws at him; whether at school, or working for the Colonel (Richard Griffiths) on his country estate or avoiding their wicked Grandma Wolf (Frances De La Tour).
The outbreak of World War One offers Tommo an escape. Although underage, Tommo enlists and is joined by Charlie, leaving behind their family and the love of both their lives Molly (Izzy Meikle-Small & Alexandra Roach). Forced to adjust to a new life of conflict in Flanders, they soon learn that gas attacks and shelling are easy to survive; the real battles are the price of family loyalty, the cruel attentions of Sergeant Hanley (TBA), and facing the onslaught of summary military justice.
Michael Morpurgo, Author and Executive Producer, comments:
More than 30 years ago, after meeting a First World War veteran from my own village in Devon, I wrote War Horse, my first book about this war.
I then wrote Private Peaceful, after visiting Ypres,learning of the 300 British soldiers executed for cowardice or desertion – two for simply falling asleep at their posts. I read transcripts of their trials, and saw how unjust it had been. I visited their graves and knew I had to tell this story.
Knowing Simon and Pat , they will make the film with the passion and conviction that the 300 deserve”.
Private Peaceful is produced by Guy de Beaujeu and Simon Reade for Fluidity Films in association with Poonamallee Productions, developed in association with Peppermint Pictures. UK distributors are Exile Media .
Further cast to be announced closer to the start of shoot