Guernsey Film: Kate Winslet and Kenneth Branagh 'Not Involved'

BBC News, 8 February 2013
Thanks, Toni

Kate Winslet and Kenneth Branagh are no longer involved with a film adaptation of a book set during Guernsey's German occupation, its producer has said.

Paula Mazur said a new leading lady had been found for the film Guernsey, but could not reveal a name until later in the month.

The film is an adaptation The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Ms Mazur said Branagh had been replaced by Simon Curtis as director.

The rights to a film adaptation were purchased in the same year as the publication of the novel, in 2008. The book, set in London and Guernsey, details the lives of islanders during the early 1940s through letters. It reached the top of the New York Times best-seller list in 2009.

Ms Mazur said the financing of the film was still facing some uncertainty. She said it was still the plan to film in Guernsey, but the island was in danger of losing the film unless it came up with good financial rebates for the production.

She added: "Otherwise the studio will say 'we'll just shoot some place with cliffs and ocean and double it for Guernsey'. Guernsey will still need to come up with something... otherwise we won't be able to shoot there."

Filming of Guernsey was intended to take place in 2012 but was delayed due to problems with securing a male lead, said Ms Mazur. "Making a movie is always a saga, and this one is no exception," she said.

Ms Mazur announced in January 2012 that Kate Winslet had been cast in the film. She declined to reveal who the new intended lead actress was, but said the name would be revealed in about a week's time. She said there was a "nice, healthy list" of alternative actresses for the lead role, which would be used if the first choice did not work out.

Ms Mazur said she was working with film company Studiocanal, and that the film was in the "pre-pre-production" stage.

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