Martin Freeman is taking a break from filming The Hobbit to star in Svengali, a comedy film about the music business reports tubefilter news. Production started in London this week on this story of a young man called Dixie and his dream of becoming manager of the best band in the world. The cast includes real life rock stars and music biz personalities who play themselves. Vicky McClure, Michael Smiley, Sally Phillips, Boy George and Carl Barat are all joining Freeman in this film which started out as an internet viral.
‘A friend of mine told me about Svengali after about the third episode.’ Freeman said ‘When he’d described it I was actually annoyed that I hadn’t been asked to do it. I went home, watched the lot, and knew I was right to be annoyed. It was charming, sussed, and very funny.’
The lead, Dixie, is played by Johnny Owen who is also the inspiration behind Svengali. When Owen lost his production job with a tv company he put his savings into an internet comedy series. Alan McGee heard of the project and, being the boss of a record company, persuaded many of his acts to take part. And so the cult show began.
Svengali is written by Owen and Dean Cavanagh and the film is directed by music video director John Hardwick.