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After Quentin Tarantino set the precedent, working in a video store is fast becoming an established alternative route into the film business. David Logan dreamed up the screenplay of darkly comic thriller Circus while he was toiling away behind the counter of his local shop. Director Rob Walker, who shared an agent with Logan, read the script and responded immediately. "The story is such a rich mosaic filled with sharp funny references," enthuses Walker.

Producer Alan Latham, who came on board when Walker sent him the script, puts Logan's script squarely in Tarantino territory, describing it as "putting Miami into Brighton, giving it a European/US feel". But when Latham and producing partner James Gibb set out to find backers, they discovered this transatlantic slant was a double-edged sword. "Initially British companies said the story was too convoluted," says Gibb. "But the project soon generated heat with several US studios showing interest. In the end Columbia beat off the opposition."

The script's distinctive style also helped bring on board John Hannah to star as the lead Leo, a conman who masterminds one last scam. "When I first read it," says Hannah, "I had no idea what was going on, but it was brilliant." His early commitment to the film helped get it off the ground. Leo's glamorous wife, Lily, is Famke Janssen, whose international career took off with GoldenEye. Other casting decisions were more offbeat, including British entertainer Brian Conley as a vicious gangster and comedian Eddie Izzard at a sadistic loan shark.

Circus shot on location in Brighton and around London, and at Shepperton Studios in spring last year. It was released in the UK in May this year.


Type of film
Rob Walker
Simon Boswell.


Production status


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Last updated 24th June 2005

Production Company

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Columbia TriStar