British star Martin Freeman is the latest addition to the comedy feature adaptation of YouTube UK cult hit web series Svengali.
Production begins in London next week, Variety reports.
Svengali features real life rock stars and music biz personalities who play themselves. British stars Vicky McClure and Michael Smiley join Freeman, known for his roles as Tim Canterbury from the BBC’s The Office and Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s upcoming adaptation of The Hobbit.
“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.”
Other cast notables include Roger Evans, Alan Mcgee, Sally Phillips, Ciaran Griffith, Michelle Gomez, Sean Harris, Colin Tiernan, Jodie Whittaker, Boy George, Maggot, Bonehead, and Carl Barat.
The feature will be directed by music video director John Hardwick, who has worked with a host of major industry figures including Blur, the Arctic Monkeys, New Order, Travis, and the Manic Street Preachers.
Writer and actor Jonny Owen will again play the reading role of Svengali. He and co-writer Dean Cavanagh created the nine-episode semi-improvised web series that debuted on YouTube in 2011.
“The web has changed everything,” Owen said. “Svengali was originally an experiment to see if people wanted stories. It seems they did. To be making a movie now shows that anything is possible.”