Fassbender's Frank 'not Sidebottom'

Press Association7 September 2012

Michael Fassbender's new comedy Frank is not "a Frank Sidebottom film", the director has said.

The Shame star has signed up to play the title character in Frank - a new film inspired by eccentric papier mache-headed comic creation Frank Sidebottom.

But Irish director Lenny Abrahamson and writer Jon Ronson took to Twitter to explain the character is inspired by several other people as well. The other inspirations included schizophrenic musician Daniel Johnston and eccentric singer and painter Captain Beefheart.

Abrahamson tweeted: "It was inspired by him but the Frank of the film is also inspired by Daniel Johnson, beefheart and has a v different biography than either Frank Sidebottom or the great Chris S. Ours is American, never takes head off, is in an avant garde band...etc. [sic]"

Sidebottom, the creation of comic and singer Chris Sievey who died of cancer two years ago, was a self-styled aspiring singer-songwriter from Timperley, Greater Manchester.

Ronson tweeted: "It's totally made up and - whilst inspired by Frank - is inspired by other people too."

The film, written by Ronson and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy screenwriter Peter Straughan, will also star Harry Potter actor Domhnall Gleeson as a wannabe musician, Jon, who joins Frank's band.

Ronson said he was "bowled over" that Michael and Domhnall had signed up to the film.

Filming on the production, which is a collaboration between Film4 and the Irish Film Board, starts later this year.

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