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Cast Announced for Lassie 26 May 2005

Peter O'Toole and Samantha Morton have signed up to head the all-star cast for Charles Sturridge's new Lassie movie, due to shoot on the Island next month.

Also helping revive the legendary franchise are Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent), John Lynch, Jemma Redgrave, Steve Pembridge and Gregor Fisher. Excellent sales of the film are being achieved at Cannes this week. Entertainment Film Distributors will distribute Lassie in the UK, hopefully for Christmas 2005. Worldwide sales agent Odyssey has also locked in deals in Taiwan, Turkey, Benelux Eastern Europe, Portugal, France, Middle East, Thailand, Iceland, Israel and Greece.

Lassie will be produced by Element Films' Ed Guiney and Firstight Films' Charles Sturridge and Francesa Barra in conjunction with Classic Media. Charles Sturridge wrote the script, based on Eric Knightís classic 1938 novel Lassie Come Home. Sturridge is largely known for his directorial work on Shackleton, Longitude and Brideshead Revisited.

Isle of Man Film Development Manager Hilary Dugdale said,

"The Lassie script fits some of the Island's most beautiful locations perfectly. It's a marvellous opportunity for us to show off the Islandís natural beauty. It's a pleasure to be working with such quality material and with such an esteemed director and cast. I know the Island will rise to the challenge admirably.

"Itís going to be another busy year for the Islandís film industry. As well as Lassie, in July we will be filming the long awaited Stormbreaker, the first of a series of children's (and an increasing number of adults) novels by best-selling author Anthony Horowitz in which teenage spy Alex Rider will be battling evil and protecting the country single-handedly for MI6. Casting for the film is currently on-going but we can rest assured that it will be an exceptional and high-calibre cast."

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