Principal photography began Monday 20th January on MAN UP, a romantic comedy about taking chances and rolling with the consequences. One night, two people, on a first date like no other…
MAN UP stars SIMON PEGG (The World’s End) and LAKE BELL (In a World), the additional cast includes Rory Kinnear (Broken), Olivia Williams (Hyde Park on Hudson), Sharon Horgan (‘Pulling’), Harriet Walter (Atonement), Ken Stott (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) and Stephen Campbell Moore (The History Boys). MAN UP is directed by Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners Movie) and written by Tess Morris.
The forthcoming comedy is a BIG TALK PICTURES production and will be distributed by STUDIOCANAL in the UK. MAN UP is produced by Nira Park and James Biddle with executive producers Matthew Justice, Simon Pegg, Rachael Prior, Dan Cheesbrough, Danny Perkins, Jenny Borgars, Christine Langan and Joe Oppenheimer. The film is financed by STUDIOCANAL and BBC FILMS. Shooting will take place in London over the next six weeks.
Meet Nancy (Lake Bell): 34, single (still), hung-over (again), and exhausted by the endless futile set ups foisted upon her by well-meaning but clueless friends. As she travels across London to toast another 10 years of her parent’s blissfully happy marriage, 40 year old, freshly-hatched divorcee Jack (Simon Pegg) mistakes her for his 24 year old blind date. In a moment of uncharacteristic optimism (or insanity?), Nancy decides to just go with it… What follows is a chaotic, unconventional, hilarious night neither of them will ever forget. There will be drinking, there will be home truths; there will be an old classmate with a long-standing crush and stalker tendencies. There will be lost divorce papers, lost hopes, competitive indoor sports and an epic venue-to-venue urban triathlon. Oh, and the small matter of Jack finding out that Nancy isn’t actually his real blind date. MAN UP is a romantic comedy about being yourself… or perhaps not being yourself. It’s about taking chances, making decisions and rolling with the consequences.
Big Talk’s Nira Park says: “I’m delighted to get this exceptional script into production and with such an exciting cast, headed up by the hugely talented Lake Bell as Nancy and my long time collaborator, Simon Pegg as Jack. I fell in love with these characters from the first read, and I know audiences will as well. There is so much warmth, wit, and heart-breaking honesty in their uniquely modern love story – these are two very relatable characters, whose experiences have insulated them against the idea of a fairytale, happy ever after, who despite their disillusionment, stumble across it nonetheless.”
STUDIOCANAL’s Danny Perkins says: “I am genuinely thrilled to see such a unique, sharp script and premise come to life with MAN UP, in partnership with our friends at Big Talk, BBC Films and an incredibly talented cast and crew.”
Christine Langan, Head of BBC Films says: “It’s so exciting to be making what is not only our first film with Big Talk, but also a brand new collaboration with Simon Pegg and Lake Bell, not to mention director Ben Palmer and writer Tess Morris. This brilliant team has come up with a film that will be both hilarious and heart-warming, and we’re thrilled to be involved.”
English actor, writer and comedian SIMON PEGG started his successful career in stand-up comedy, followed by many early television roles and leading on to his breakthrough in ‘Spaced’. Written by Pegg and Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson), ‘Spaced’ was directed by Edgar Wright and starred Pegg, Hynes and also introduced Nick Frost in his first TV role. His breakthrough in film came with his starring role in Shaun of the Dead which he co-wrote with Edgar Wright. Pegg, Wright and Frost went on to produce Hot Fuzz and, most recently, The World’s End. Along with hit movies such as Run Fat Boy Run, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and Tintin. Pegg is also known for his role as Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott in the hugely successful Star Trek franchise and alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible III and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.
LAKE BELL was most recently seen in, In a World, which she also wrote, directed, and produced. Among other accolades, she won the Sundance 2013 Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and was honored with the New Voices in Screenwriting Award at the 2013 Nantucket Film Festival. Bell is a versatile performer, as comfortable in comedy as she is in drama. Bell wrapped production on the thriller The Coup alongside Owen Wilson. She has played memorable roles in such films as Black Rock, No Strings Attached, It’s Complicated, What Happens in Vegas and Pride and Glory. Bell can next be seen in Disney’s Million Dollar Arm opposite Jon Hamm and Alan Arkin which will be released on May 16 2014. Bell wrote and directed ‘Worst Enemy’, a short film, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Since then, Bell has directed several episodes of Adult Swim’s Emmy Award®-winning comedy “Children’s Hospital,” on which she is a series regular. Other television credits include “Surface,” “Boston Legal,” and HBO’s “How to Make It in America.”
BEN PALMER’s early career is defined by collaborations with emerging comedy talents Russell Brand, Leigh Francis, Kristen Schaal and Kevin Bishop, where he helped them find their comedic voice and early success on shows such as the BAFTA-nominated and British Comedy Award winner ‘Bo’Selecta’, and BAFTA-nom’ed ‘Star Stories’. Ben then directed several pilots, including C4’s ‘The Inbetweeners’, which he then helmed through its phenomenally successful 2nd and 3rd series – the show won several awards at the BAFTA, National Television, Broadcast, and British Comedy Awards, and won the Rose d’Or. In 2011, The Inbetweeners Movie took a record £45m at the domestic box office, $80m+ worldwide and won ‘Best Comedy Film’ at the Empire Movie Awards in 2012. The film’s success confirmed Ben as one of the most in-demand comedy directors in the UK and he has continued to make comedy shows such as the Milton Jones-starrer ‘House of Rooms’, Bain & Armstrong’s telenovela-satire and cult classic ‘Bad Sugar’, and Company Pictures ‘London Irish’. He also directed the whole series of ‘Chickens’ for Big Talk and Sky.
Writer TESS MORRIS won the Lloyds Bank/Channel Four Film Challenge for her short film ‘Beer Googles’ in 1997, and in 2008 she was chosen for the BFI/Skillset Think Shoot Distribute Scheme for emerging talent in the British Film Industry. Previously, she has written for television, long-running series and sitcom including the multi award-winning ‘My Family’. Tess also lectures on comedy and screenwriting (for the Arvon Foundation and Royal Holloway University). Man Up will be her first feature screenplay.