AI Film, Altitude Film Entertainment, UNIGRAM, Pinewood Productions, and World’s End have announced principal photography starts this week on dark and satirical comedy KILL YOUR FRIENDS about the infamous era of Britpop music with Warner Music Group on board to produce the film’s soundtrack.
Directed by Owen Harris, the film is produced by Gregor Cameron (UNIGRAM), Will Clarke (Altitude Film Entertainment) and Len Blavatnik (AI Film and Warner Music Group).
Written by John Niven and based on his cult novel of the same name, Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class, Warm Bodies) takes the lead role of Steven Stelfox and is joined by a hugely talented ensemble cast including Craig Roberts (22 Jump Street, Submarine), Tom Riley (‘Da Vinci’s Demons’, I Want Candy), Georgia King (‘The New Normal’, Austenland), Jim Piddock (‘What About Dick?’, A Mighty Wind), Joseph Mawle (Half of a Yellow Sun, ‘Birdsong’), James Corden (Tony Award winner of Best Actor in ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’, ‘Gavin & Stacey’) and Edward Hogg (The Comedian, Bunny and the Bull).
Executive producers on the film are are AI Films (Aviv Giladi, Vince Holden), Altitude (Andy Mayson, Mike Rungall), Pinewood Productions (Steve Norris, Ivan Dunleavy), STUDIOCANAL (Danny Perkins, Jenny Borgars) and World’s End (Johnny Vaughan) as well as Nicholas Hoult, Kate Buckley, Amanda Ghost and James Sully with Ben Giladi as associate produer. KILL YOUR FRIENDS will be released in the UK by STUDIOCANAL. Altitude Film Sales are handling international sales.
When the road to success is littered with losers and even your closest colleagues are desperate for you to fail, what would you do to make it to the top?
London, 1997; the British music industry is on a winning streak. Britpop bands Blur, Oasis, The Verve rule the airwaves and Cool Britannia is in full swing. 27 year old A&R man Steven Stelfox is slashing and burning his way through the music business, a world where ‘no one knows anything’ and where careers are made and broken by chance and the fickle tastes of the general public. Fuelled by greed, ambition and inhuman quantities of drugs, Stelfox lives the dream, as he searches for his next hit record. But as the hits dry up and the industry begins to change, Stelfox takes the concept of “killer tunes” to a murderous new level in a desperate attempt to salvage his career.
Kill Your Friends is the debut feature film for director Owen Harris. His previous credits include ‘Black Mirror’, ‘Misfits’, and the award-winning ‘Holy Flying Circus’.
Scottish writer John Niven spent ten years working in the music industry for a variety of record companies before leaving to focus on his writing. His novels include Music From Big Pink, Kill Your Friends, The Amateurs, and most recently Straight White Male.
Producer Gregor Cameron commented: “I’m delighted to get this exceptionally sharp and funny script into production with such a brilliant director, cast and crew. ‘Cool Britannia’ might just sound like a term to describe climate change now, but that era marked massive turning points in our history and culture, the repercussions of which we are still dealing with in every walk of life. We are excited to be exploring it with such loveable characters from the music industry who threw the party they thought would never end.”
Altitude Film Entertainment’s Chairman Will Clarke says, “John Niven’s cult novel Kill Your Friends was a hugely funny evisceration of the music business during the legendary Britpop era. John’s script in the hands of the hugely talented director Owen Harris and this great cast of leading British actors will make for an electric combination on screen and resurrect the headiness of that era for those who lived it, and for those who may have wanted to.”
Altitude co-CEO Andy Mayson adds, “Producing Kill Your Friends has been a fantastically creative and collaborative process for Altitude, both in working with Gregor, John and Owen to develop the film, and with our partners AI Film and Pinewood, on getting it financed and into production. It has been a great collaboration across the board and we can’t thank everyone enough for their passion and determination to make this film happen.”
AI Film CEO Aviv Giladi says, “A film about the hurly-burly of the music business with a such a strong cast is a great fit for AI Film especially as Warner Music Group is part of the Access Industries family. They are already actively involved in creating a great soundtrack for this movie, and helping Owen Harris get into his first feature film matches neatly with AI Film’s growing interest in investing in fresh local talent”
Kill Your Friends will shoot in London for the next 5 weeks.