James McAvoy is quietly amassing one of the most interesting filmographies out there. The actor toplined two major tentpoles in 2011 — "X-Men: First Class" and "Arthur Christmas" — and now he's quickly gone in the other direction, getting in front of the cameras for Danny Boyle's thriller "Trance," and the gritty Brit crime flick "Welcome To The Punch." And kicking off 2012, he's settling into what be his most challenging effort to date, an adaptation of Irvine Welsh's "Filth." This one has been brewing for a while now, with Jamie Bell boarding over the summer and now with filming set to kick off, the rest of the cast has been solidified, and it's certainly very promising.
Rising actress Imogen Poots ("Fright Night," "Solitary Man"), seasoned vet Jim Broadbent (recently seen across from Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady") and go-to slimeball Eddie Marsan have come aboard the film that has also added Joanne Froggatt to its ranks. The book is right in the usual Welsh wheelhouse, both lurid and darkly hilarious, as it follows the adventures of Bruce Robertson (McAvoy), a sex-obsessed, cocaine-addicted, bigoted Scottish police officer who is supposed to be investigating a murder but gets sidetracked by his own peculiarities, worries and hangups ranging from the pranks he pulls on his co-workers to his various sexual conquests. Looking in on Robertson is partner-of-sorts, Ray Lennox (Bell), and his boss, Bob Toal, in a story that is as outrageous, inventive and edgy as you might expect from Welsh.
There's no mention in Variety's report on Alan Cumming, who Welsh told us would be playing Toal in the picture, and if the IMDB page is anything to go by, he's been replaced by John Sessions. As for Poots, she'll be Amanda Drummond, a colleague of Bruce while Marsan gets the role of the shady Bladesey.
Production begins this week with Jon S. Baird ("Cass") at the helm, and shooting slated for Scotland, Sweden, Belgium and Germany. No release date yet, but with this cast and material, we'll be keeping it on our radar for 2013.