Casting Bits: Ray Winstone, Jim Sturgess & Lesley Manville In 'Ashes;' Harry Treadaway & Michelle Ryan In 'Cockneys Vs. Zombies'

In London, a new film called Ashes has pulled together an impressive core trio: Ray Winstone, Jim Sturgess and Lesley Manville. The film also features Jodie Whittaker (who'll be a lot more known once people have a chance to see Attack the Block) and Luke Evans, and will be directed by Mat Whitecross.

We don't have many plot details, but the script, by the director and Paul Viragh (the two also did the Ian Dury biopic Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, starring Andy Serkis) is described as a 'contemporary noir thriller.' Good enough for me, especially with that cast. It's a relatively low-budget affair ($8m), with part of the money coming from Coldplay. Yeah, that Coldplay. The film will begin shooting next week on the Isle of Man.[Variety]

Speaking of Attack the Block, one of the companies behind that movie is assembling another UK genre picture, called Cockneys Vs. Zombies. Details on that are after the break.

Matthias Hoene is making the horror comedy Cockneys vs. Zombies, which will shoot in London this month and follows "a group of bank robbers who unlock a 350-year old vault only to unleash an army of zombies." The script is by James Moran (Severance, Torchwood), which is a promising aspect.

Quite a few names are now confirmed for the cast: Michelle Ryan, Harry Treadaway, Honor Blackman and Jack Doolan have signed on to appear; Rasmus Hardiker, Ashley Thomas and Alan Ford are also joining the cast, per THR.

Readers in and around London can also potentially join the cast, as they're looking for extras to be zombies in a few big scenes. James Moran blogs about it, including this casting call:

People in the UK are being given the chance to play extras in the new film Cockneys vs Zombies which will be shot at various locations around the city of London during March and April.

We're looking for men and women – preferably those over 18 – to become involved in the film as extras. We need an eclectic bunch of people of all shapes, sizes, races, and ages, to represent modern day Britain. We need people that are happy wearing suits, or jeans, or even shorts and t-shirts. For some there will be a chance of doing a couple of days but most will be needed for just one day.

He also describes the film in slightly expanded terms:

...there's a zombie outbreak in the East End, and a bunch of Cockneys are caught up in it during the worst bank robbery in the world. Mayhem ensues. There's much more to it than that, but we don't want to spoil all our surprises yet. There's a lot of scares, humour, quirky characters, swearing, and zombie splatter. But it's all in the best possible taste.