Notting Hill - A Working Title Film Aim: Understand production issues relating to Notting Hill, and how they were managed by Working Title.
Robbie the Reindeer Love Actually The Boat That Rocked The Tall Guy Mr. Bean (TV) Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason The Vicar of Dibley Bean Comic Relief Notting Hill Four Weddings and a Funeral Blackadder Bridget Jones's Diary Put these Richard Curtis projects into chronological order: Screenwriter
Blackadder (1983-1989) Comic Relief (1985 onwards) The Tall Guy (1989) Mr. Bean (TV) (1990-1995) The Vicar of Dibley (1994-2007) Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) Bean (1997) Notting Hill (1999) Robbie the Reindeer (1999-2001) Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) Love Actually (2003) Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) The Boat That Rocked (2009) Based on this - was Notting Hill a risk for Working Title? Screenwriter
Casting - Associations Remember - this is early in his career, but after ‘Four Weddings’. What are the audience’s associations with Hugh Grant? Some saw it as Four Weddings II, with Grant playing the same role, Radio Times said: “Witty, but faintly awkward bachelor Charles has been transported into William, the witty but faintly awkward owner of a travel bookstore in the London district of the title.”
Casting - Associations "Notting Hill," says producer Duncan Kenworthy, "is not a sequel. Of course people will have expectations and we hope to live up to those expectations, but we are certainly not, as we go about making the film, comparing it in any way. It is another romantic comedy, but very different from Four Weddings which was a story of big social events with none of the real life in-between. Notting Hill is the complete opposite, the day-to-day details of a love affair. What makes it unusual and special is that it is a love affair between the most famous woman in the world and just an ordinary guy." Hugh Grant in Notting Hill the sequel?
Why mess with success? Director Robert Michell: "Hugh does Richard better than anyone else, and Richard writes Hugh better than anyone else. I think that’s a writer/actor marriage made in heaven. Hugh has brought a fantastic skill to a part which I can’t imagine anyone else doing."
Casting - Associations Already starred in 20 films. Won two Golden Globes. Nominated for two Oscars (‘Steel Magnolias’ and ‘Pretty Woman’). Played internationally famous actress Anna Scott. Anna mentions in the film that she was paid $15 million for her last film - this is the same as was paid to Roberts for Notting Hill. Was she worth the money?
The Director - why? Four Weddings and a Funeral director Mike Newell was approached for the film, but rejected it to work on Pushing Tin instead. He did later admit that in commercial terms he had made the wrong decision, but did not regret it. The film's producer Duncan Kenworthy then turned to Roger Michell, stating that "Finding someone as good as Roger, was just like finding the right actor to play each role. Roger shone out." Went on to do ‘Changing Lanes’ and ‘Enduring Love’. Had previously directed ‘Persuasion’ - A Jane Austen adaptation. Went on to do ‘Mona Lisa Smile’, ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ and ‘Prince of Persia’. Had previously directed lots of TV. Made $8.4 million - cost around $33 million
The Producer Duncan Kenworthy
Due to his success he was able to co-found DNA Films with Andrew Macdonald - producer of Trainspotting (1997). DNA Films have produced:
‘ 28 Days Later’ (2002) (and the sequels)
‘ Love Actually’ (2003)
‘ Notes on a Scandal’ (2006)
‘ The History Boys’ (2006)
‘ The Last King of Scotland’ (2006)
He also co-founded and produced ‘Fraggle Rock’, (1983) and produced ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’. (1994) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7TTk_0XYn4&feature=related
The Music Original score composed by Trevor Jones, who had made music for numerous films since the early 80s.
More important are the music tie-ins.
Ronan Keating’s version of ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ went number 1.
The soundtrack features a number of audience-friendly love songs.