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About a Boy
Director: Paul Weitz (Dir)
Release Date:   17 May 2002
Premiere Information:   UK opening: 26 Apr 2002
Production Date:   mid Apr--late Jun 2001 at Shepperton Studios, London, location filming done in London
Duration (in mins):   101
Duration (in feet):   9,101
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Cast: In Order of Appearance Hugh Grant (Will)  
  And introducing Nicholas Hoult (Marcus)  
    Sharon Small (Christine)  
    Madison Cook (Imogen)  
    Jordan Cook (Imogen)  
    Nicholas Hutchison (John)  
    Ryan Speechley (Barney)  
    Joseph Speechley (Barney)  
    Toni Collette (Fiona)  
    Nat Gastiain Tena (Ellie)  
  Ellie's friends Laura Kennington    
    Tanika Swaby    
    Peter McNicholl    
    Christopher Webster    
    Ben Ridgeway (Lee, the bully)  
    Jack Warren (Lee's sidekick)  
    Russell Barr (Maitre d')  
    Isabel Brook (Angie)  
    Orlando Thor Newman (Angie's kid)  
  Bitter ex-girlfriends Paulette Williams    
    Fritha Goodey    
    Susannah Doyle    
    Delma Walsh    
    Jonathan Franklin (Mark)  
    John Kamal (Nicky)  
    Tessa Vale (Class teacher)  
    Lorna Dallison (Woman in supermarket)  
    Bethany Muir (Child in supermarket)  
    Bruce Alexander (Husband in supermarket)  
    Joyce Henderson (Moira/SPAT)  
    Jenny Galloway (Frances/SPAT)  
    Janine Duvitski (Caroline/SPAT)  
  Additional SPAT women Sue Hyams    
    Maggie Kahal    
    Lynn Askew    
    Beverly Millward    
    Danielle Harvey    
    Anna Maria Credenzone Philip    
    Sarah King    
    Susan Ghamsary    
    Edna Johnson    
    Victoria Smurfit (Suzie)  
    Frog Stone (Mothercare shop assistant)  
  Family in Mothercare car park Buddy Hunter    
    Kristine Perrin    
    Nathan Perrin-Hunter    
    Rachael Perrin-Hunter    
    Amy Craven (Suzie`s baby Megan)  
    Rebecca Craven (Suzie`s baby Megan)  
    Sidney Livingstone (Park keeper)  
    Cathy Murphy (Nurse)  
    Joanne Petitt (Hairdresser)  
    Jason Salkey (Tom/Amnesty International worker)  
    Annabelle Apsion (Amnesty International worker)  
    Matt Wilkinson (Amnesty International worker)  
    Peter Roy (Will's dad)  
  Candy throwers Matthew Thomas    
    Aaron Keeling    
    Scott Charles    
    Claire Harman (Skechers shopgirl)  
    Sian Martin (Cute waitress)  
    Mark Drewry (Clive)  
    Denise Stephenson (Lindsey)  
    Rosalind Knight (Lindsey's mum)  
    Rachel Weisz (Rachel)  
    Murray Lachlan Young (New Year's Eve party guest)  
    Augustus Prew (Ali)  
    Alex Kew (Simon Cosgrove)  
    Mark Heap (Math teacher)  
  Def Penalty Kru Sunanda Biswas    
    James Marshall-Gunn    
    Jamie Mayer    
    Korede Obashju    
    Roger Brierley (Mr. Chalmers, the MC)  
    Steffan Pejic (Apple thrower)  

Summary: Will, an immature, self-absorbed, thirty-eight-year-old bachelor, lives in a well-appointed London flat, surrounded by all the latest gadgetry. Will has never worked and lives off the royalties of a popular Christmas song, "Santa's Super Sleigh," the only hit of his late, songwriter father. Although he enjoys seducing many women, Will is incapable of forming any meaningful relationships and fears commitment and parenthood. After his married friend Christine sets him up with one of her co-workers, Angie, the mother of a three-year- old boy, Will begins another temporary relationship. He is surprised, however, when, in a reversal of his normal routine, Angie thinks that Will is sensitive and supportive. After announcing that he is too good for her, she breaks up with him to attempt a reconciliation with her husband. Will then gleefully realizes that there must be many other single mothers who are not looking for a long-term commitment, and after locating a self-help group called SPAT, Single Parents Alone Together, attends one of their meetings, posing as the single father of a two-year-old son. Suzie, one of the mothers, shows an interest in Will, and they arrange to go on a picnic in Regent's Park. Faced with having to create evidence of his caring for a child, Will quickly buys an infant’s car seat for his imaginary boy. On the day of the picnic, Will explains to Suzie that his ex-wife has suddenly picked up his son for a visit. Suzie brings along the son of her best friend Fiona, twelve-year-old Marcus, who is not impressed by Will. However, when Marcus accidentally kills one of the park’s ducks with Fiona's stone-hard loaf of homemade bread, Will comes to his defense against the park keeper, and Marcus begins to look at him differently. When Will and Suzie drive Marcus home they discover that Fiona, a vegetarian hippie suffering from chronic bouts of depression, has attempted suicide. Later, after Fiona recovers and returns home, she resumes her tentative relationship with her son, who suffers at school due to his unconventional upbringing and nerdy appearance. Marcus, feeling that he cannot cope with his mother's problems by himself, decides he needs a back-up person in his family and phones Will to arrange for the three of them to meet in a restaurant. Will is not remotely interested in Fiona, nor is she interested in him, and the meeting goes badly. Over several days, Marcus follows Will during his aimless, self-indulgent excursions, then goes to his flat, accuses him of not having a son and offers not to tell anyone if Will agrees to date his mother. Will declines but Marcus does not give up and begins, without telling his mother, to visit Will every afternoon after school to watch Countdown , Will’s favorite television quiz show. Will begins to soften toward the boy when he learns that he is bullied at school because of his hair and out-of-fashion clothes, and takes him shopping for a pair of stylish sneakers. After paying for the shoes, Will realizes that he feels good about making Marcus happy. When the sneakers are stolen at school and Marcus arrives home shoeless on a stormy day, he is forced to tell Fiona about his visits with Will and that Will is not a father. Fearing the worst about Will's interest in her son, Fiona confronts Will in a restaurant, but he responds by criticizing her for not being aware of the torment Marcus is enduring in school. Fiona suddenly realizes that she has been misguided and asks Will to continue to see Marcus, but he is reluctant. Will, however, does accept Marcus’ invitation to join them for a Christmas dinner at their house, where he meets Marcus’ father and his current girl friend. Unfortunately for Will, Suzie is also invited and is angry with Will for lying about being a parent. To Will’s surprise, Marcus defends him, telling his mother that Will understands what kids need. At a New Year’s Eve party, Will meets Rachel, another single mother with a boy about Marcus’ age, and Will finds himself allowing her to believe that the boy he is speaking about is his son. Because Will is very attracted to Rachel, he is forced to enlist Marcus’ help in sustaining the deception when he visits Rachel at her home. Ali, Rachel’s maladjusted son, is in the same year at school as Marcus and, when they are alone, menacingly warns Marcus that he does not want his “father” becoming involved with his mother. Marcus suggests to Will that he should tell Rachel the truth about their relationship, and some time later, over dinner, Will begins by telling her that he is not Marcus’ natural father, then digs himself into a deeper hole until he is forced to confess the whole scheme and admit to being a “nothing.” One day, after Marcus finds his mother crying again, he assumes it is a prelude to another suicide attempt and decides to try to cheer and please her by signing up to perform her favorite song, “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” at a school rock concert. Marcus also asks Will to aid his mother, forcing Will, who is depressed over losing Rachel, the only woman he has ever cared about, to admit to him that he is unable to help in any meaningful way. Will begins to realize that his life is shallow and that knowing Marcus is the only thing that means something to him. Will then goes to another SPAT meeting and admits to all the mothers that he attended simply to meet women, whom he thought he could easily seduce. When Fiona tells Will that Marcus is singing in the school concert, Will realizes that the boy, who has no singing talent, will be further humiliated by performing the 1970s ballad in front of his rock- and rap-loving peers, and they both rush to the school to stop him. Even though the naïve Fiona feels that Marcus is simply expressing himself, Will convinces Fiona that Marcus is not expressing himself, but her. Meanwhile, the boy who was to accompany Marcus on a recorder decides not to subject himself to the embarrassment and drops out. When Will and Fiona reach the school, Will hurries backstage and tries to persuade Marcus not to perform, but he insists. Marcus is booed and heckled by his schoolmates, except Ellie, a popular girl on whom Marcus has a crush. Then Will suddenly appears from the wings with a guitar and plays and sings along with Marcus, eliciting a good response from the audience and saving the boy from social suicide. He also impresses Rachel, who is in the audience to watch Ali's performance. After the concert, Fiona thanks Marcus for the song and promises him that she will always be around. A few months later, Will hosts a Christmas dinner at his flat, with Fiona, Marcus, Rachel, Ali, Ellie and Tom, an Amnesty International worker who Will thinks would be perfect for Fiona. They have become a mutually supportive group of parents and children, and Will is considering asking Rachel to marry him. Thanks to Marcus, his twelve-year-old friend, Will has finally matured and come to realize, late in life, the value of friendship and commitment. 

Production Company: Universal Pictures (Vivendi Universal)
  Le Studio Canal (Canal +; Vivendi Universal)
  Working Title Films (Vivendi Universal)
  Tribeca Productions  
  KALIMA Productions GmbH & Co. KG.  
Production Text: A Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz Film
A Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz Film
Distribution Company: Universal Pictures (Vivendi Universal)
Director: Paul Weitz (Dir)
  Chris Weitz (Dir)
  Chris Newman (1st asst dir)
  Ben Howarth (2d asst dir)
  Alex Oakley (3rd asst dir)
Producer: Jane Rosenthal (Prod)
  Robert De Niro (Prod)
  Brad Epstein (Prod)
  Tim Bevan (Prod)
  Eric Fellner (Prod)
  Nick Hornsby (Exec prod)
  Lynn Harris (Exec prod)
  Nicky Kentish Barnes (Co-prod)
  Debra Hayward (Co-prod)
  Liza Chasin (Co-prod)
  Hardy Justice (Co-prod)
Writer: Peter Hedges (Scr)
  Chris Weitz (Scr)
  Paul Weitz (Scr)
Photography: Remi Adefarasin (Dir of photog)
  Peter Robertson ("A" Cam op/Steadicam)
  David Cozens (Focus puller)
  Jay Jay Odedra (Focus puller, addl crew)
  Tammo Van Hoorn (Focus puller, addl crew)
  Rene Adefarasin (Loader)
  John Adefarasin (Loader, addl crew)
  Sam Barnes (Loader, addl crew)
  John Arnold (Key grip)
  Andy Edridge (Grip, addl crew)
  Stuart Bunting (Grip, addl crew)
  Chris Warren (Video assist op)
  Charlie Grainger (Cam trainee)
  Keziah Barton Whyte (Video asst)
  Jimmy Wilson (Lighting gaffer)
  Ian Franklin (Best boy)
  Danny Young (Generator op)
  Jamie Mills (Elec)
  David Moss (Elec)
  Peter Hawkins (HOD rigger)
  Barrie More (Rigging gaffer)
  Dennis Holiday (Rigging elec)
  David 'Jim' Wall (Rigging elec)
  Sean Young (Stand-by rigger)
  Laurie Sparham (Stills photog)
  Arri Media (Cam and lenses by)
  Lee Lighting (Lighting equipment)
  Mike Frasers (Dailies telecine)
Art Direction: Jim Clay (Prod des)
  Rod McLean (Supv art dir)
  Gary Freeman (Art dir)
  Rosie Hardwick (Asst art dir)
  Heidi Gibb (Draughts person)
  Jules Faiers (Art dept graphics)
  Richard Ward (Art dept asst)
Film Editor: Nick Moore (Ed)
  Graham Stumpf (Post prod supv)
  Simon Cozens (1st asst ed)
  Mike Jackson (1st Avid asst ed)
  Tania Clarke (UK Avid asst ed)
  Paul Clegg (2d asst ed)
  Julian Andraus (2d asst ed)
  Brock Stoneham (Apprentice ed)
  David Wheal (Editing dept trainee)
  Midnight Transfer (UK editing facilities)
  Universal Studios Editorial Facilities (US editing facilities)
  Pivotal Post (Ed equipment)
  Atomic Film Company, Inc. (Ed equipment)
  Theresa Repola Mohammed (Negative cutting)
Set Decoration: John Bush (Set dec)
  Chris Seddon (Drapes)
  Harriet Orman (Prod buyer)
  Mike Standish (Prod buyer)
  Barry Gibbs (Prop master)
  Darryl Patterson (Storeman)
  Kevin Wheeler (Dressing props)
  John Botton (Dressing props)
  Roy Chapman (Dressing props, chargehand)
  Bill Hargreaves (Chargehand stand-by props)
  Barry Arnold (Stand-by props)
  John Bohan (Const mgr)
  Eamon McLoughlin (HOD carpenter)
  Robert Wishart (Chargehand carpenter)
  Peter Duffy (Carpenter)
  Joseph Alley (Carpenter)
  Nicholas Goodall (Carpenter)
  Daryl Carter (Carpenter)
  David Williamson (Stand-by carpenter)
  Paul Duff (Stand-by carpenter)
  David Jones (Supv stagehand)
  Roy Biggs (Stagehand)
  Len Serpent (Stand-by stagehand)
  Stephen Weston (Wood machinist)
  Clive Ward (HOD painter)
  Robert Harper (Painter)
  Jeff Sullivan (Painter)
  Harry Alley (Painter)
  John Cloke (Stand-by painter)
  Michael Finlay (Scenic painter)
  David Haberfield (Scenic painter)
  Steve Mitchel (Supv scenic artist, addl crew)
  Nigel Hughes (Scenic artist, addl crew)
  James Hunt (Scenic artist, addl crew)
Costumes: Joanna Johnston (Cost des)
  Guy Speranza (Asst cost des)
  Claire Finlay (Cost supv)
  Helen Mattocks (Key set cost)
  Martin Chitty (Cost asst)
  Louise Egan (Cost asst)
  Devina Artley (Cost dept runner)
Music: Badly Drawn Boy (Mus/Songs prod)
  Nick Angel (Mus supv)
  Steve McLaughlin (Orig score prod)
  Charles Martin Inouye (Supv mus ed)
  Kathy Nelson (Exec in charge of film mus for Universal Studios)
  Tom Rothrock (Songs prod)
  Patrick Seymour (Score arr and cond)
  Andy Brown (Orchestra contracted by)
  Air Studios, Lyndhurst (Orch rec at)
  Jake Jackson (Orch eng)
  Steve McLaughlin at North Pole Studio (Score mixed by)
  Jaime Lunn (Mix asst eng)
Sound: Tony Dawe (Sd mixer)
  Christian Bourne (Sd asst)
  Richard LeGrand Jr. (Supv sd ed)
  Gary Gerlich (Sd ed)
  William Hooper (Sd ed)
  Patrick O'Sullivan (Sd ed)
  Samuel Webb (Asst sd ed)
  Lee Gilmore (Apprentice sd ed)
  Walter Spencer (Dial ed)
  Robert McNabb (ADR supv)
  Norval Crutcher III (ADR ed)
  Marilyn Graf (Foley ed)
  One Step Up (Foley)
  Andy Koyama (Re-rec mixer)
  Chris Carpenter (Re-rec mixer)
  Universal Studios Sound (Re-rec services and sd ed des provided by)
  Bill Meadows (Rec)
  Future Post London (ADR recorded at)
  Ted Swanscott (ADR mixer)
  Colin Cooper (ADR rec)
  Bryan Pennington (Dolby sd consultant)
Special Effects: Dark Side Effects (Spec eff)
  The Picture Mill (Main titles by)
  Pacific Title (Digital opticals and end credits by)
Make Up: Graham Johnston (Makeup and hair des)
  Lorna McGowan (Makeup artist)
  Carmel Jackson (Makeup artist)
  Katya Thomas (Ms. Weisz' makeup)
  Nora Robertson (Makeup artist, addl crew)
  Laura McIntosh (Makeup artist, addl crew)
Production Misc: Priscilla John (Casting)
  Laura Dickens (Casting asst)
  Brendan Donnison (ADR voice casting)
  Vanessa Baker (ADR voice casting)
  The Casting Collective Ltd. (Background artists supplied by)
  Bernard Bellew (Prod mgr)
  David Pinnington (Loc supv)
  Steve Hart (Loc mgr)
  Kevin Early (Loc asst)
  Louise Fernandez (Loc asst, addl crew)
  Phil Clark (Loc scout, addl crew)
  Neil Chaplin (Prod accountant)
  Emma Short (Asst accountant)
  Jason Potter (Accounts asst)
  Tarn Harper (Post prod accountant)
  Polly Wilby (Post prod accountant's asst)
  R. C. Baral & Company, Inc. (U.S. post prod accounting)
  Paul Cafferty (U.S. post prod accounting)
  Renee Ryel (U.S. post prod accounting)
  Nikki Clapp (Scr supv)
  Angela Morrison (Chief operating officer for Working Title)
  Michelle Wright (Exec in charge of prod for Working Title)
  Sarah-Jane Wright (Prod exec for Working Title)
  Sara Curran (Head of legal & business affairs for Working Title)
  Sheeraz Shah (Vice President, legal & business affairs for Working Title)
  Shefali Ghosh (Chief financial officer for Working Title)
  Aliza James (Asst to Eric Fellner for Working Title)
  Callum Metcalfe (Asst to Tim Bevan for Working Title)
  Lucy Wainwright (Legal adv for Working Title)
  Emily Stewart (Prod asst for Working Title)
  Ann Lynch (Prod coord)
  Manuela Cripps (Asst coord)
  Sara Lineberger (Post prod coord)
  Dathi Sveinbjarnarson (Floor runner)
  Tom Glaisyer (Floor runner, addl crew)
  Vicki Allen (Floor runner, addl crew)
  Sam Pollit (Floor runner, addl crew)
  Matt Eddy (Weitz Brothers prod exec)
  Lucy Williams (Unit mgr)
  Wayne Docksey (Fish animal handler)
  Animal Ark (Duck Animal Handler)
  Katharine Tidy (Food stylist)
  Ruth Halliday (Script clearance)
  Kellie Belle (Product placement mgr)
  Sara Woodhatch (Asst to Hugh Grant)
  Meghan Lyvers (Asst to Jane Rosenthal)
  Paul Monaghan (Prod runner)
  Richard Cain (UK liaison to the Weitz Brothers)
  Michael Gaster (Set intern)
  Jill McCullough (Voice and dial coach)
  Paul Englishby (Guitar teacher/On set mus adv)
  Rob Nash (Piano teacher)
  Joy Pollard (Tutor)
  Steve Fletcher (Tutor)
  Glenis Hoult (Chaperone)
  Stacy Mann (Unit pub)
  Paul Jackson (Health & Safety)
  Catherine Oxley-McLeod (Nurse)
  Peter Devlin (Unit driver)
  Ronald Narduzzo (Unit driver)
  Terry Reece (Unit driver)
  Eric Francks (Unit driver)
  Jason Vanezis (Unit driver)
  Andre Cooper (Cam truck driver)
  Mike Ward (Cost dept driver)
  Jimmy Batchelor (Minibus driver)
  Ian Drinkwater (Minibus driver)
  Graham Pamment (Makeup truck driver)
  Kim Worley (Makeup truck driver)
  Tiny Topping (Dining bus driver)
  Steve Manger (Facilities driver)
  Peter Gathard (Facilities driver)
  Colin Thompson (Facilities driver)
  Gordon Hampton (Facilities driver)
  Tony Smith (Facilities driver)
  Steve Boyd (Facilities driver)
  Ian Johnson (Const run around driver)
  Nigel Williamson (Props run around driver)
  Alan Burrows (Props stand-by driver)
  AON/Albert G. Ruben (Insurance)
  Place Invaders (Security)
  Tex's Rangers (Security)
  Willies Wheels (Loc facilities provided by)
  Townley Knott (Facilities HOD)
  Lays Transport (Art dept transport)
  First Unit Caterers (Catering)
  Natural Addiction (Craft service)
  Michael Johnstone (Craft service)
  Jo McLaren Clark (Craft service)
Stand In: Graham Crowther (Stunt coord)
  James Chasey (Stand-in for Mr. Grant)
  Jack Steed (Stand-in for Nicholas Hoult)
  Pauline Gill (Stand-in for Toni Collette)
Color Personnel: Jim Passon (Col timer)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Country: Great Britain and United States
Language: English

Music: "Rue de noir," music by Guy Barker, performed by The Guy Barker International Quintet, courtesy of Music House (Int.) Limited.
Songs: "Something to Talk About," "A Peak You Reach," "A Minor Incident," "Walking Out of Stride," "Silent Sigh," "Above You Below Me" and "Donna and Blitzen," music and lyrics by Damon Gough, performed by Badly Drawn Boy, courtesy of XL Recordings Ltd., (Soundtrack by Badly Drawn Boy on XL Recordings); "Rainy Days and Mondays," music by Roger Nichols, lyrics by Paul Williams, performed by Alexandra Hill; "Santa's Super Sleigh," music and lyrics by Pete Brewis, performed by Lindsay Benson; "Bitches and Friends," by Ron Rinaldi and Maestro Garofalo, performed by DJ Rodriguez, courtesy of IRMA Records; "Killing Me Softly with His Song," music and lyrics by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox, performed by Toni Collette, Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult; "Zoo Station," by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, performed by U2, courtesy of Universal-Island Records Limited; "Feliz Navidad," music and lyrics by José Feliciano, performed by José Feliciano, courtesy of RCA Records/BMG Entertainment; "Sussex Carol," arranged by Sir David Willcocks, performed by The Cambridge Singers, courtesy of Collegium Records; "Shake Yo Ass," by Michael Tyler, Charles E. Hugo and Pharrell Williams, performed by Mystikal, courtesy of Zomba Records Ltd.; "Avoidance Learning," by Imran Hanif and Joti Mangat, performed by Dead Relative, courtesy of Universal-Island Records Limited; "Super Thug," by Pharrell Williams, Charles E. Hugo, Victor Santiago, Deborah Harry and Christopher Stein, performed by "Noreaga," courtesy of Tommy Boy Music (UK) Limited.
Composer: Guy Barker
  Pete Brewis
  Adam Clayton
  Dave Evans
  José Feliciano
  Charles Fox
  Maestro Garofalo
  Norman Gimbel
  Damon Gough
  Imran Hanif
  Deborah Harry
  Paul Hewson
  Charles E. Hugo
  Joti Mangat
  Larry Mullen
  Roger Nichols
  Ron Rinaldi
  Victor Santiago
  Christopher Stein
  Michael Tyler
  Paul Williams
  Pharrell Williams
Source Text: Based on the novel About a Boy by Nick Hornby (London, 1998).
Authors: Nick Hornby

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
KALIMA Productions, GmbH & Co., KG 21/11/2002 dd/mm/yyyy PA0001106587

PCA NO: 38482
Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby Digital Surround-Ex; SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound; dts Digital Sound in selected theatres
  col: Kodak; Color by Deluxe
  gauge: 35mm

 
Genre: Comedy-drama
Sub-Genre: Domestic
 
Subjects (Major): Children
  Maturation
  Mothers and sons
  Parenthood
  Playboys
  Seduction
  Single parents
 
Subjects (Minor): Attempted suicide
  Bullies
  Christmas
  Concerts
  Deception
  Ducks
  False accusations
  Guitars
  Hippies
  Impersonation and imposture
  Killing Me Softly with His Song (Song)
  London (England)
  Schools
  Shoes
  Support groups
  Television
  Vegetarians
  Zoos

Note: A 20 Oct 1997 DV article stated that Tribeca Productions, headed by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, and New Line Cinema had bought the rights to Nick Hornby's about-to-be published novel Father Figure (earlier known as Odd Numbers ) for $2.75 million, outbidding Miramax and Warner Bros. According to the film's pressbook, Hornby's subsequently published novel sold more than one million copies in the UK alone, and rights were sold in more than twenty countries. Two other novels by Hornby, Fever Pitch and High Fidelity were made into feature films by Working Title Films, in 1999 and 2000, respectively. Tribeca entered into a partnership with Working Title, which had earlier produced three highly successful films with Hugh Grant, whose own company had considered buying Hornby's novel, and he committed to the project.
       On 7 Dec 1998, Var reported that Peter Hedges had written a screenplay for the project, now titled About a Boy , and that Iain Softley had been signed to direct. Hedges's screenplay retained the London setting but portrayed the principal character, "Will," as an American. A DV article of 28 Nov 2000 stated that Softley had left the project over casting disagreements and that the writing-directing team of Chris and Paul Weitz, who had previously tried to acquire film rights to the novel, had been signed to direct. On 24 Jan 2001, DV reported that due to corporate restructuring at New Line, About a Boy had been "put into turnaround," although the Weitz brothers had just completed a rewrite of the screenplay and Grant was still attached to the project. Two days later, on 26 Jan 2001, a DV article indicated that Universal Pictures, which had a new pact with Tribeca, was about to conclude negotiations to acquire the property budgeted at $30 million. Other contenders included Fox 2000, Miramax and DreamWorks.
       Shooting began in mid-Apr 2001 with London exteriors in St. James's Walk, Clerkenwell Green ("Will's" flat), in Kentish Town ("Fiona's" house), Notting Hill ("Rachel's" home) and Finsbury ("Marcus's" school). Other locations included Regent's Park and London Zoo. After seven weeks on location, the production moved to Shepperton Studios, where the interior of Will's flat and Fiona's house were built.
       Throughout the film Will and Marcus, in inner monologue voice-overs, comment upon the developments. The film's musical score was created by Badly Drawn Boy, the stage name of Damon Gough. The film's opening credits list Hugh Grant, Toni Collette and Rachel Weisz above the main title and include the following supporting actors: Isabel Brook, Sharon Small, Victoria Smurfit "and introducing Nicholas Hoult as Marcus." Although he had never appeared in a motion picture before, Hoult had previously worked on various British television productions.
       The film's closing credits include the following acknowledgments: "Scene from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? , courtesy of Celador Productions; Scenes from Countdown , courtesy of Yorkshire TV; Scene from Xena: Warrior Princess , courtesy of Studios USA Television Distribution LLC; Scene from Pet Rescue , courtesy of Endemol Entertainment UK Pic and Channel 4 Television; Scene from Bride of Frankenstein , courtesy of Universal Studios Licensing, Inc.; Scene from Billy Elliot , courtesy of Universal Studios Licensing, Inc." The credits also include a number of acknowledgments of thanks to various individuals and organizations, and to companies that provided products for the film.
       In addition to being selected by AFI as one of the top ten films of 2002, About a Boy received Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy and for Hugh Grant as Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film was also selected as one of Newsweeks ' Top 15 films of 2002 and was nominated by the London Film Critics Circle Awards for British Film of the Year and Best British Actor (Grant). Collette received the Best Supporting Actress Award from the Boston Society of Film Critics and Hoult was nominated as Best Young Actor by the Critics Choice Awards. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   20 Oct 1997   p. 1, 14.
Daily Variety   28 Nov 2000.   
Daily Variety   24 Jan 2001   p. 36.
Daily Variety   26 Jan 2001   p. 1, 51.
Daily Variety   1 Apr 2002.   
Los Angeles Times   17 May 2002.   
New York Times   17 May 2002.   
New Yorker   3 Jun 2002.   
Newsweek   20 May 2002.   
People   27 May 2002.   
Screen International   24 Oct 1997.   
Screen International   27 Apr 2001.   
Sunday Times (London)   28 Apr 2002.   
Time   27 May 2002.   
Variety   7 Dec 1998.   
Variety   1 Apr 2002   p. 31, 38.

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