TWO of Scotland's biggest screen names are poised to begin filming in a romantic comedy set on a fictional Scottish island.
• Kelly MacDonald and David Tennant are set to star
Actors David Tennant, of Doctor Who fame, and Kelly MacDonald, who won a Bafta for her role in No Country for Old Men, are to start work on Decoy Bride next month.
Film agency Scottish Screen is investing 300,000 in the production, its largest possible grant for a feature film, to be shot partly in Scotland.
Producer Douglas Rae said he hoped the film – with casting and production details rolled out yesterday at the Cannes Film Festival – would recapture the charm of British classics like Four Weddings and a Funeral. It was "a homage" to 1983's Local Hero, he said, which after 30 years has never been rivalled as a Scottish film comedy hit.
Decoy Bride tells the story of a superstar actress, Lara, played by Alice Eve, travelling to the sleepy island of Hegg to marry her British boyfriend James, played by Tennant, out of sight of the paparazzi.
To keep photographers off the trail, the pair find a decoy bride. Inevitably, James falls for the local girl, played by MacDonald.
Scottish Screen is banking that the combination of Tennant, 39, and MacDonald, 34, who has featured in films including Trainspotting to Gosford Park, will create some powerful chemistry.
The script was written by Neil Jaworski and Sally Phillips, the comic actor who played alongside Rene Zellweger in the two Bridget Jones films and is a performer and co-writer for Channel 4 sketch show Smack the Pony.
The film is to shoot in June, partly in Scotland and partly on the Isle of Man. Mr Rae said Scottish locations include castles in Dumfries and the coast around Inverary.
"It's inspired by big Hollywood-style weddings in Scotland like Madonna's," he said.
The film is directed by Sheree Folkson, whose credits include directing stints on TV series Ugly Betty and Casanova.
Mr Rae and Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae of Ecosse Films, along with Paul Ritchie, are producing the film.
Ecosse made its name with films from Mrs Brown to Becoming Jane. "What's significant for us is it's our first romantic comedy, having done children's films, horror, thrillers, period pieces," he said.
"Sally has captured the charm of Four Weddings or Nottinghill (by screenwriter Richard Curtis] but has an original voice. She's captured that quintessentially British humour," he said.
"Hegg" was inspired by Jura or Eigg, he said.
Steve Christian, of UK distributors CinemaNX, said: "We are thrilled to be working with these partners to bring to UK cinema audiences a big, mainstream commercial project such as this."
Carole Sheridan, head of talent and creativity at Scottish Screen, said: "Decoy Bride will shoot in Scotland, is set in Scotland and features two of our most interesting actors.
"It is very exciting to be involved in a project such as this and to be working with partners CinemaNX and Ecosse Films who have a great track record in bringing work to Scotland."