Altitude Film Entertainment, the vertically integrated production, international sales and distribution company and Citrus Films have announced the major new feature film, HORRIBLE HISTORIES: THE MOVIE - ROTTEN ROMANS based on global publisher Scholastic’s beloved best-selling and award-winning children’s historical comedy book series HORRIBLE HISTORIES by Terry Deary and illustrated by Martin Brown.
Dominic Brigstocke, responsible for many of the UK’s leading television comedy shows such as I’M ALAN PARTRIDGE and GREEN WING, is making his directorial feature debut.
HORRIBLE HISTORIES: THE MOVIE - ROTTEN ROMANS is being produced by Citrus Films’ Caroline Norris and Altitude’s Will Clarke with Giles Pilbrow as co-producer and in association with Scholastic and Lion Television and Ingenious Media is being financed by BBC Films, CBBC, Silver Reel and with the support of Amazon Studios.
Altitude Film Distribution will release the film in UK and Irish cinemas on 26 July 2019 in partnership with Lorton Entertainment.
Altitude Film Sales will be launching the film at the American Film Market in November where the first footage will be presented. BBC Films has retained free TV rights for the UK and Amazon has retained SVOD rights for the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Australia.
Shooting on location in the UK and Bulgaria, HORRIBLE HISTORIES: THE MOVIE - ROTTEN ROMANS will transport audiences back to Roman Britain and embrace the timeless madcap humour and tone of Monty Python with the classic cult adventure of Princess Bride. The film features rising stars Sebastian Croft (GAME OF THRONES) as Roman teenager Atti and Emilia Jones (PATRICK) as his Celtic rival Orla leading an all-star cast including Nick Frost (SHAUN OF THE DEAD) as Orla’s father Arghus, Craig Roberts (SUBMARINE) as Emperor Nero and Kim Cattrall (SEX AND THE CITY) as his mother Agrippina. Additional cast include Kate Nash (GLOW) as Boudicca, Rupert Graves (SHERLOCK) as Governor General Paulinus, Alex Macqueen (THE INBETWEENERS) as Nero's assistant Sycophantus and Sir Derek Jacobi reprises his iconic role as Claudius. Rounding out the cast is a host of brilliant comic talent including Alexander Armstrong, Lee Mack, Warwick Davis, Lucy Montgomery, Jamie Demetriou, Tony Gardner, Kevin Bishop, Samantha Spiro, Ella Smith, Dan Renton Skinner, Dustin Demri-Burns, Tim Downie and Chris Addison alongside HORRIBLE HISTORIES alumni Sarah Hadland, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Dave Lamb, Jessica Ransom, Tom Stourton, Dominique Moore, Richard David-Caine, Lawry Lewin, Katy Wix, Katherine Jakeways and more.
Atti is a Roman teenager with brains but very little brawn. When one of his clever schemes falls foul of Emperor Nero Atti is forced to join the army and is sent to miserable, cold, wet Britain where the natives are revolting - quite literally. Things go from bad to worse when Atti is captured by Orla, a feisty teenage Celt desperate to prove herself as a warrior. After narrowly avoiding a very sticky end in a bog, Atti uses his Roman know-how to help Orla save her gran who’s been kidnapped by a rival tribe. Meanwhile a furious Nero is determined to crush the rebellion, led by Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni. Atti rejoins his Roman troops and discovers they are preparing for an historic showdown with the Celts at the Battle of Watling Street. Atti’s brains could save the day but they could also spell disaster for Orla as the two new friends find themselves lined up on opposite sides of the battlefield.
The project will be executive produced by Lion Television’s Richard Bradley, Altitude’s Andy Mayson, Mike Runagall and Bradley Quirk, Julian Bird of Lorton Entertainment, Iole Lucchese of Scholastic Entertainment, Joe Oppenheimer, BBC Films’ Rose Garnett and Geraldine Atlee, CBBC’s Cheryl Taylor, Melissa Hardinge and Lucy Beckett, Ingenious Media’s Simon Williams and Vaishali Mistry, Silver Reel’s Claudia Bluemhuber and Jesus Munoz.
HORRIBLE HISTORIES: THE MOVIE - ROTTEN ROMANS reunites Caroline Norris, Giles Pilbrow and Dominic Brigstocke, the creative team behind the first five series of Lion Television’s BAFTA-winning HORRIBLE HISTORIES TV show. The film has been written by Jessica Swale, the Olivier award-winning playwright of Globe Theatre and West End transfer NELL GWYNN, together with Pilbrow and Norris.
Terry Deary and Lion Television, along with CBBC, Martin Brown and Scholastic, have been vital partners throughout the development process and Altitude will continue their partnership with them through to the UK release and international rollout of the film to execute comprehensive cross-promotional activity around the book and other merchandising opportunities.
HORRIBLE HISTORIES is the world’s best-selling children’s history book series. Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, has published more than 100 titles in the series, selling in excess of 32 million copies in more than 31 countries and in over 37 languages since 1993. 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the global book franchise.
Will Clarke, Chairman and co-CEO of Altitude Film Entertainment, says, “We’re delighted to start production on HORRIBLE HISTORIES: THE MOVIE – ROTTEN ROMANS with our friends Dom, Caroline and Giles at Citrus. We’re grateful to our partners, in particular Rose at BBC Films, Cheryl at CBBC, Chris at Amazon, Julian at Lorton and our pals at Ingenious and Silver Reel. Horrible Histories is a hugely popular franchise with parents and children alike and we can’t wait to bring it to the big screen.”
Rose Garnett, Head of BBC Films said, “We are over the moon at the opportunity to be a part of Horrible Histories coming to the big screen, and excited to be working with BAFTA award-winning comedy director Dominic Brigstocke on his feature directorial debut. HORRIBLE HISTORIES: THE MOVIE – ROTTEN ROMANS is a joyous project that combines the very best of the beloved BBC TV series, whilst capturing the scale and energy of a feature film.”
Caroline Norris, Producer, Citrus Films, says, “Following the extraordinary success of the books, theatre shows and TV series, it’s a real honour to be taking Horrible Histories to the next level. Making HORRIBLE HISTORIES: THE MOVIE – ROTTEN ROMANS with such a stellar cast and crew really is a dream come true – albeit a dream full of mud, poo and horse wee.”
Richard Bradley, Managing Director, Lion TV, says, “It’s been incredibly exciting to see Horrible Histories leap from the page to the small screen so successfully. We are thrilled it is now to hit the big screen and hopefully find a worldwide audience of new fans – young and old – for its unique blend of gruesome history and side-splitting comedy.”
Terry Deary, author of Horrible Histories, says, “I am delighted to be so involved in bringing my books to life on the big screen. This could be the most horrible movie you’ll see in 2019. Fans old and new, young and aged will love the horribly hilarious action.”
Iole Lucchese, Chief Strategy Officer, Scholastic Entertainment, says, “We are so proud of Horrible Histories. Terry Deary’s words and Martin Brown’s pictures have entertained and engaged children for 25 years and we are thrilled by the creative team who will be bringing Horrible Histories to life on the big screen.”