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Wimbledon - Preview

Preview by: Jack Foley

WITH this year’s Wimbledon tennis championships in full swing, and Hen-mania gripping an expectant nature once more, what better time than to anticipate a new romantic comedy on the theme of the world-famous tennis tournament?

Wimbledon marks the latest collaboration between United International Pictures, Universal Pictures and Working Title Films, and will be serving its love match for the first time, on Friday, September 24.

The film tells the story of Peter (Paul Bettany), a British man struggling at an embarrassingly low position on the tennis ranking ladder.

He is given a wild card for Wimbledon which is to be his final bow, but then falls in love with a young, hot-shot American tennis star, Lizzie, (Kirsten Dunst), and finds his on court prowess, skills – and a little luck - catapult him from round to round, bringing him closer to his dream of winning the men’s singles title.

The film co-stars Sam Neill, as the father of Kirsten Dunst's character, Jon Favreau, as a slimy sports agent, and former player-turned-pundit, John McEnroe, as himself.

The production was granted unprecedented access by The All England Lawn Tennis Club during last year’s tournament, to film certain scenes during The Championships last year.

Following the tournament, filming continued at Wimbledon, as well as at Shepperton Studios and locations around London.

The romantic comedy is directed by Richard Loncraine, of Richard III/The Gathering Storm fame, and produced by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, as well as Mary Richards and David Livingstone. It is based on a script by Adam Brooks (French Kiss).

A new trailer has also recently appeared online, which, according to the guys at Empire Online, features a few good Bettany one-liners, as well as lots of beautiful looking tennis courts, people and strawberries.

Whether it will become this year’s Love Actually at the Box Office, or whether Henman can create his own Hollywood ending to the tournament this year, remains to be seen, of course - but we will be keeping our fingers crossed on both counts.

NB: Working Title, co-chaired by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, is Europe’s leading film production company. Together, they have made more than 70 films, grossing over two and a half billion dollars world-wide, including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Fargo, Notting Hill, Elizabeth, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Billy Elliot, About A Boy, Johnny English and the recent box office hit, Love Actually.

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