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Ricky Gervais talks Cemetery Junction

Ricky Gervais in Night At The Museum

Story by Jack Foley

RICKY Gervais has been talking of his delight at starting work on new movie Cemetery Junction, which finds him writing and directing with Stephen Merchant for the first time on the big screen.

Principal photography commences on June 15, 2009 with a cast including Ralph Fiennes, Gervais himself and stars-of-the-future Christian Cooke, Felicity Jones, Tom Hughes and Jack Doolan.

Cemetery Junction, formerly known as The Men At The Pru, is the first motion picture to be written and directed by Gervais and Merchant following on from their multi-award winning TV successes, The Office and Extras.

It tells the funny, touching, universal story of being trapped in a small town and dreaming of escape and is set in 1970s England.

Freddie (Christian Cooke) wants to leave their working-class world but cool, charismatic Bruce (Tom Hughes) and lovable loser Snork (Jack Doolan) are happy with life the way it is.

When Freddie gets a new job as a door-to-door salesman and bumps into his old school sweetheart Julie (Felicity Jones), the gang are forced to make choices that will change their lives for ever.

Commenting on their latest venture, Gervais and Merchant said: “We want to capture the spirit of those classic British New Wave movies of the 1960s that made stars of Albert Finney, Julie Christie and Michael Caine.

“We’re so excited about our fresh young cast – they are all film stars in waiting. Cemetery Junction is going to be glossy and glorious, full of humour, romance and drama as well as our usual observations on the truth and absurdity of real life.

“The fact that Ralph Fiennes is also on board to add depth and class to the whole thing is just unbelievable icing on the cake.”

Deborah Schindler, President of International Motion Picture Production at Sony Pictures, added: “We’re delighted to be partnering with two of the UK’s foremost writing and directing talents.

“Ricky and Stephen’s past successes have proved not only their unparallelled understanding of comedy but also their ability to create realistic stories and characters with worldwide appeal. Add to this the exciting ensemble cast and we know we have a movie for all audiences.”

Cemetery Junction will shoot on location in and around London and is based at Shepperton studios. The film is produced by Sue Baden-Powell and Charlie Hanson and executive producers are Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

Sony Pictures Entertainment has worldwide rights and will be releasing the film in cinemas in 2010.