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Attenborough's Funding Fight

Attenborough's Funding Fight

British director Richard Attenborough has a battle on his hands to raise funds for the film he's desperate to make - which he fears backers find "old-fashioned". The Gandhi film-maker is desperate to find money for his planned $68.8 million biopic of 18th century revolutionary Thomas Paine, who wrote The Rights Of Man. He's got an A-list cast in mind, and believes in the project completely - but because his last two films, Grey Owl and In Love And War, flopped, finding backers to put up the cash has been impossible. The Oscar-winner says, "I want to do it more than anything else. I am convinced that it could have huge box office attraction, say if Daniel Day-Lewis would play the part. I hope I could get Anthony Hopkins to play Benjamin Franklin - and George Washington would be ideal for Michael Douglas or Martin Sheen. There is a fantastic girl's part and a fine Meryl Streep character. With those actors, you can start to talk. But it's too big a sum to raise on the street and neither the project nor I are obvious box office at the moment. Because I made these two failures - commercial and critical - I am not flavor of the month. In terms of current cinema and conventional box-office wisdom, I am old-fashioned."