By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com July 27, 2011 at 1:22AM
For weeks now, Simon Pegg has been teasing his Twitter followers with a secret project that he's been filming for the past couple of weeks. With the British comic having broken through with Edgar Wright, and gone on to star in Hollywood blockbusters like "Star Trek" and "Mission Impossible 3," speculation flew: was it a secret shoot for "Star Trek 2"? Had they somehow got "The World's End" ready under the radar? Of course not. But this morning, the film was finally revealed, as an intriguing-sounding British indie.
Screen Daily reveals that Pegg is starring in "A Fantastic Fear of Everything," described as "a psycho comedy," which Universal Pictures will release in Europe, while Indomina ("Detective Dee") has already snagged the U.S. rights . Keel Films is producing, with backing from the Pinewood Group, who are making their first inroad into production, giving both financial backing and the use of the legendary studios at Pinewood and Shepperton to low-budget films.
Interestingly, the film is co-directed by Chris Hopewell, who's worked on videos for the likes of Radiohead, The Knife and The Killers, and by Crispian Mills, the grand-son of John Mills, son of Hayley Mills, and best known as the front-man of Britpop also-rans Kula Shaker. Amara Karan ("The Darjeeling Limited"), Sheridan Smith ("Hysteria") and Clare Higgins ("The Golden Compass") are also in the cast. As for the plot, we've dug up an official synopsis on the production company's website. Read it below.
Jack is alone for Christmas. A former children’s author, now turned crime novelist, Jack spends his nights pacing about, entrenched in his latest script ‘Decades of Death’ with only his gruesome research into Victorian serial killers for company.
A sensitive artist, who lacks even the simple courage to buy his own toilet paper, this research into all the most notorious hackers and poisoners of the late 19th century has made him paranoid and insomniac. Jack starts carrying a carving knife around with him due to ‘an irrational fear of being murdered’ and begins to suspect everybody he meets, from the waiter in the restaurant, to the newspaper vendor, to the friendly local ASBO hoodies. But when Jack is thrown a life-line by his long-suffering agent and a mysterious Hollywood executive takes a sudden and inexplicable interest in his script, what should be his ‘big break’ rapidly turns into his ‘big breakdown’, as Jack is forced to confront his worst fears; among them, love, laundry, and, serial killers.
It’s because of his agent’s unprecedented request that he ‘look smart’ for the big meeting, that Jack’s career now rests precariously on his ability to tackle his irrational fear of launderettes. However, Jack soon has to deal with far more than the simple embarrassment of exposing his own soiled load in public. Harangued by the ghost of his ex-wife, and guided by the sage-like counsel of his psychotherapist (who once cured a girl of her phobia of open bananas), Jack makes his fateful ‘trip downtown’, taking him through the shadowy dystopia of a modern Noir London and onto the bright neon lights of the Lotus Laundromat, where his inability to operate a washing machine, (and the unfortunate fact that he’s still carrying a carving knife), triggers a series of unexpected events bringing him face to face with real danger, real crime, real fear, and even reality TV; involving an encounter with the most beautiful girl in London, a highly embarrassing personal injury, a bruising encounter with the strong arm of the law, and ultimately an unexpected fight for his life at the hands of a real serial killer...
It's certainly more promising than "How To Lose Friends and Alienate People," that's for sure, but then we also had high hopes for "Burke and Hare," and that didn't turn out particularly well. Pegg seems excited, anyway -- he told Slate magazine recently that "It's this really odd but brilliant script...it's just a little low-budget British film but I'm very excited about it." Filming is still underway, and we should see this in theaters some time in 2012.