Filming of the bike-genius comedy is now more likely thanks to the lottery-funded Scottish Screen. But a new backer is still needed. [Paging Robin Williams...]

Obree film is rescued by Scottish Screen

Scottish Screen has advanced the film’s production team a big chunk of the £500 000 due to it on completion of The Flying Scotsman. Scottish Screen was the organisation that gave life to the project in the first place, granting £500 000 lottery cash in 2000.

However, this cash is paid out in stages and following last week’s publicity about the possible grounding of the film, Scottish Screen agreed to advance more of the cash now than was planned.

John McAleer, Scottish Screen’s business development executive, told that he was confident The Flying Scotsman would be an excellent film:

"I know the production team behind the film will make a brilliant job."

Filming can now start on 15th November, a week later than planned.

The film could be the ‘Full Monty’ of 2003, and would be a major plug for cycling.

Obree is said to have been involved in some of the scriptwriting for the film, which will feature the highs and lows of Obree’s rollercoaster life so far.

Despite the immediate drawing down of some of the Scottish Screen funds – in the form of a loan – The Flying Scotsman still needs to find £900 000.

Producer Peter Broughan is said to be confident this amount can be raised whilst filming goes ahead. And McAleer is also confident:

"The production team has demonstrated remarkable resilience on past films and they’ll come through on this one too."

But any millionaires out there who would like to shell out some cash to make sure an all-star film about cycling is printed to celluloid should contact Scottish Screen on tel 0141 302 1700. Anybody know how to contact Robin Williams?

Previous movies majoring on cycling have included Breaking Away (1979), starring Dennis Quaid, and American Flyers (1985), starring Kevin Costner. Both are American films with extensive footage of ‘road action’, but neither are terribly memorable.

Perhaps the biggest pro-bike film ever will be the bio-pic about Lance Armstrong. But maybe that’s got to wait until Tour de France victory number six?

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