Sam Mendes' new company has announced its first development slate.

Sam Mendes' new company has announced its first development slate.

Cuttings from the Press release below...

SCAMP FILM AND THEATRE LTD , the new Covent Garden based film and theatre production company set up by Sam Mendes with co-directors Pippa Harris and Caro Newling, has announced its first development slate.

Pippa Harris, formerly Head of Drama Commissioning at the BBC, is in charge of the film division of the company. Caro Newling, who was Executive Producer at the Donmar Warehouse with Mendes, runs the theatrical division of SCAMP. Along with projects he directs himself, Mendes will executive produce both film and theatre productions with Harris and Newling, working with a range of directors across the slate.

SCAMP has a first look deal on all of its films with DreamWorks Pictures, the Los Angeles-based company run by Jeffrey Katzenberg, Stephen Spielberg and David Geffen and the company that financed and distributed Mendes' first two films: "American Beauty" and of "Road to Perdition".

SCAMP theatre projects currently in development

SCAMP has a broad range of theatre productions currently in development for London and New York. Some projects will be developed in association with subsidised theatres.

In collaboration with producers, both domestically and abroad, SCAMP currently has twelve projects in evolution. The slate includes new writing, musicals and adaptations of classic films - both American and contemporary European. The breadth of productions will see them work with established and emerging creative talent both on stage and behind the scenes.

British productions include the UK première of David Lindsay-Abaire's off-Broadway hit FUDDY MEERS. Angus Jackson (Elmina's Kitchen) will direct this anarchic comedy, which follows Claire, an unfortunate amnesiac, through a twenty-four hour adventure as she tries to decipher the details of her increasingly bemusing life. Fuddy Meers is a co-production with Fiery Angel and Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Award-winning playwright Owen McCafferty (Scenes From the Big Picture, Closing Time, and Shoot the Crow) is currently writing a newly commissioned version of J.P.Miller's play DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES. Miller's shattering portrait of a couple's alcohol addiction was adapted into the disturbing 1962 film, of the same name, starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick.

Ed Hall (A Midsummer Night's Dream, David Mamet's Edmond) will direct the first major London revival of Howard Brenton and David Hare's PRAVDA , a coruscating exposition of the newspaper industry. Pravda premièred at the National Theatre in 1985 - winning, among others, the Evening Standard Best Play Award.

Nick Whitby (To the Green Fields Beyond) is commissioned to write a stage adaptation of the 1942 Ernst Lubitsch film TO BE OR NOT TO BE, the classic comedy of a ramshackle theatrical troupe who manage to outwit a group of Nazis by playing the roles of, and for, their lives.

Further British projects currently in development include the UK première of ANNA IN THE TROPICS, a new production of Nilo Cruz's 2003 Pulitzer Prize winning play; a new production of MACBETH directed by Katie Mitchell; and a newly commissioned play by Heidi Thomas, chronicling the Russian royal family's last three months of captivity before their brutal assassination.

In New York, SCAMP' s creative partnership with a number of US producers will affirm their commitment both to new writing and music-theatre. Mendes and Newling will also continue their association with the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which staged Mendes critically acclaimed double bill of "Twelfth Night" and "Uncle Vanya" earlier this year.

SCAMP is currently developing the world stage première of "SHREK, THE MUSICAL" to be produced by Mendes and Newling in tandem with DreamWorks Pictures. Already underway is the process of assembling a creative team, including the director, from a wide range of disciplines within the theatre, music and multi-media industries. The animated film of Shrek, the story of a lonely green ogre who finds happiness with the help of a wise-cracking donkey and a tough-talking princess, was a monster hit when it was released in 2001, winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Film.

Above listed projects are not in date order. Further information confirming dates, venues, casting and production teams will be issued in due course.

SCAMP films currently in development

THE KITE RUNNER , a SCAMP/Wonderland co-production, based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini. A powerful and intimate story of two childhood friends, set against the turbulent history of the last thirty years in Afghanistan. The book is being adapted by Paul Abbott, and will be his first feature film screenplay.

"SWEENEY TODD" is being adapted by John Logan from the celebrated stage musical by Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) and Hugh Wheeler (book).

"LIFESTORY" a SCAMP production for BBC Films, based on William Nicholson's award-winning Horizon docu-drama. The film charts the exhilarating race to discover the structure of DNA, and will be written by Nicholson, and directed by David Yates .

"TOM FOOL", a SCAMP/Working Title co-production written by Tim Firth . A period thriller depicting the adventures of a 17th century court jester.

"THE BLACK HOTEL", a poignant evocation of late-flowering love by Justin Haythe whose screenplay "The Clearing"(starring Robert Redford) has recently finished filming and will be released in 2004. Other films on SCAMP's slate include an original Second World War espionage thriller from Peter Moffat , and a contemporary horror film by acclaimed playwright Phyllis Nagy , who is about to start directing her own screenplay for HBO films.

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