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Pandora, BBC adopt `Baby'.

LONDON Pandora Cinema and BBC Films have come on board to finance Ben Elton's debut movie "Maybe Baby," replacing Fine Line Features.

Fine Line had agreed last month to fully finance the $6 million project but wanted to delay it until next year to work on the casting.

Writer/director Elton and producer Phil McIntyre were keen to shoot this summer though, so they decided to pact with the BBC, which brokered a worldwide distribution deal with Paris-based Pandora.

Brit comic actor Hugh Laurie ("Peter's Friends") will take one of the lead roles in this serio-comedy about the struggles of a thirtysomething couple to conceive a child.

Elton is one of the U.K.'s most successful comedy writers and performers. He co-scripted Rowan Atkinson's BBC series "Blackadder" with Richard Curtis, who went on to pen "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Bean" and "Notting Hill."

Elton has also written several bestselling novels and sell-out plays, and will be publishing "Maybe Baby" as a novel as well as shooting it as his debut film.

Elton has another screenplay in the works based on his play and novel "Popcorn." This was long in development with Joel Schumacher for Warner Bros., but has now returned to producer McIntyre and is being set up with Claude Berri's Renn Prods. and Pathe.

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Author:DAWTREY, ADAM
Publication:Variety
Date:Jun 21, 1999
Words:217
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