The Men At The Pru – the first feature film to be co-written and directed by The Office and Extras creators, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant – is no longer called The Men At The Pru. Instead, the British comedy will now be called Cemetery Junction.
And that’s not all – today also saw the announcement of the film’s official synopsis, as well as the principal cast members, all of whom are virtual unknowns.
Christian Cooke, who gave it his best pout recently as the star of ITV’s glossy monster show, Demons, will star as Freddie, a young man growing up in 1970s England along with his best friends, Bruce (Tom Hughes) and lovable loser Snork (Jack Doolan, aka Tyler from Green Green Grass).
Although the trio, who all work at Prudential (hence the original title) spend their time laughing, drinking, fighting and chasing after the ladies, Freddie wants more, and gets a job as a door-to-door saleman. There, he bumps into his old school sweetheart, Julie (Felicity Jones, recently seen in Brideshead Revisited), and all bets are off.
The quartet of young actors join the already-cast Ralph Fiennes and Gervais, and continue Gervais and Merchant’s penchant for unearthing new talent.
However, it’s the synopsis that has surprised us most. We always assumed that The Men At The Pru – sorry, Cemetery Junction – would be an office-based comedy, but we should have known better. After all, why would Gervais and Merchant want to repeat themselves?
Instead, Cemetery Junction will be a gentle, funny, universal tale about someone who wants more out of life.
“ 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,” said Gervais and Merchant in an official statement. “We are 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.”
Sounds grand to us. Filming will begin in and around London on June 15th, 2009. Needless to say, Empire is going to be all over this one.