Brian & Charles, begins filming, the Film4 and BFI-backed feature film starring David Earl (Derek, After Life) in the lead role, written by Earl and Chris Hayward (Cardinal Burns, Trollied). Lynn Hunter (The Personal History of David Copperfield, End of The Fucking World), Louise Brealey (Sherlock, Back), Jamie Michie (Back to Life, Game of Thrones) and Nina Sosanya (Killing Eve, W1A) join Earl in the cast of the comedy, with Jim Archer (The Young Offenders, Down from London) directing his debut film.
Brian & Charles is based on David Earl’s acclaimed comedic alter-ego Brian Gittins, and his unlikely friendship with Charles, a robot. After a particularly harsh winter, Brian (David Earl) goes into a deep depression; completely alone and with no one to talk to, he does what any sane person would do when faced with such a melancholic situation and builds a robot – Charles (Chris Hayward) – for company. While things start off well, tensions begin to rise, particularly as Charles keeps eating Brian’s cabbages.
The wider cast includes Lynn Hunter as ‘Winnie’, Louise Brealey as ‘Hazel’, Jamie Michie as ‘Eddie Tomington’, Lowri Izzard as ‘Katrina’, Mari Izzard as ‘Suki’, Sunil Patel as ‘Phil Rep’, Nina Sosanya as ‘Pam’, Nicholas Asbury as ‘Stu’ and Cara Chase as ‘June’.
Brian & Charles began its life as an award-winning short film in 2017, scooping several accolades upon its release including a Young Director Award, being shortlisted for SXSW’s Narrative Shorts award and picked as Vimeo Staff’s Best of the Month.
The film was developed with and is co-funded by Film4 and the BFI (awarding funds from the National Lottery) and is directed and edited by Jim Archer (who also directed the original short film). Producer is Rupert Majendie for mr box. The executive producers are Damian Jones (The Iron Lady, Lady in the Van), Mary Burke for the BFI, and Lauren Dark and Ollie Madden for Film4.
Co-writer and star David Earl said: “We’re delighted to get the show on the road and I’m looking forward to bringing Brian & Charles to the big screen. During the Covid lockdown we wondered if we’d ever be able to make it but here I am stood in North Wales staring at a 7 foot robot.”
Producer Rupert Majendie said: “Having been ready to start cameras rolling in March, it’s great to be underway, and we’re thankful to the local authorities and community. Filmmaking during a global pandemic is a different experience and we’re taking every necessary precaution to ensure we do so safely, but we can’t wait to bring this strange and incredibly heart-warming story to life.”
Brian & Charles is filming in North Wales with strict Covid-19 protocols in place, with the production team receiving permission from the local authority ahead of filming commencing and a Covid-19 marshal on set throughout.
A first look image from the set of Brian & Charles has also been released, featuring Brian (David Earl).