Julian Barratt is known to be most as Howard Moon from The Mighty Boosh. His love for jazz, writing and his awkward way with women made him one of the best British comedy characters in years. Now Barratt is back as Richard Thorncroft, an ageing actor known for his portrayal of 80’s TV Police Detective Bruce Mindhorn, a man with a ‘super-advanced optical lie detector’ which enabled him to see the truth!
Ahead of the release of StudioCanal’s Mindhorn, we here at Verge thought we’d delve a little deeper into the surreal world of Bruce Mindhorn to bring 5 little known facts about what is sure to be, the British comedy of the year.
If anyone ever wondered how long it can take for films and projects to get off the ground, then hopefully this will give you an insight. Julian Barratt and Simon Farnaby started writing the initial screenplay way back in 2010- that’s 7 ago!
Ridley Scott is the Executive Producer of Mindhorn– When you think of Ridley Scott, you think of Gladiator, Thelma & Louise and Black Hawk Down. Well, now you can add Mindhorn to that list! As bizarre as it sounds, the Oscar winning Director and Producer is indeed the Executive Producer of Mindhorn. I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering ‘how?’, so I’ll fill you in. When Barratt and Farnaby approached BBC films with the idea in 2009, development executive Jack Arbuthnott was very impressed with the idea but then moved to Ridley Scott’s Production company Scott Free. Arbuthnott remembered the film in his new role and approached director Sean Foley to direct Mindhorn.
Mindhorn was filmed in only 5 weeks and was filmed on The Isle Of Man- There’s a lot of hanging around on movie sets, especially for the cast and crew. In fact, some movies can take up to 6 months to film but it’s safe to say Mindhorn didn’t. Once funding was secured and the location had been decided, the cast and crew embarked on filming in the summer of 2015 with an unbelievably quick turnaround of only 5 weeks! The writers had always wanted Mindhorn to be set on an island, paying homage to the likes of Bergerac. Guernsey and Sark were both considered for the location of the film but in the end, Mindhorn was filmed on the Isle Of Man. This had many positives for the film but none more so than the parade scene near the end of the film, which was a genuine parade that they joined in with!
A Major American Hollywood Star had expressed an interest in playing the role of Bruce Mindhorn with 2 conditions…- Believe it or not, but someone out there in La La Land actually thought they’d make a better washed up 80’s TV detective than Julian Barratt, the man who managed to bring the wonderfully awkward Howard Moon to life. Thankfully, the people in charge of casting agreed with Simon Farnaby who said “We refused, it always felt like a character Julian should play.” Too right! So what were the conditions? One was to be cast as Thorncroft/Mindhorn and the other was for the location to be moved to the United States.
Once Sean Foley was confirmed as Director, a teaser film of Mindhorn was made to to help secure their funding- Producers and production companies in particular always take huge risks when they commission anything. Even if it’s with a huge Hollywood star who is guaranteed to earn them back some of their dosh. Barratt, Farnaby and Sean Foley decided to alleviate some that risk by creating a teaser for Mindhorn. The teaser was filmed in 5 days and not only gave producers a glimpse of what the film would be like but also gave them the opportunity to make big changes to the script. For example, Detective Mindhorn initially had a sidekick called Rod!
Hopefully we’ve got you in the mood to see members of The Boosh back on form!
Mindhorn is released Nationwide on Friday 5th May by StudioCanal.
Watch the Trailer here