Michael Winterbottom and Russell Brand to make economics documentary

The film-maker and the comedian have begun shooting Emperor’s New Clothes, 
which aims to explore how social inequalities contributed to the financial 

Ben Child
Tuesday 28 October 2014 04.26 EDT

Russell Brand and Michael Winterbottom will unite for the political documentary 
The Emperor’s New Clothes, billed as an exposé of the social inequities which 
led to the financial crisis.

Winterbottom will direct a film that is expected to combine comedy, archive 
footage and interviews to show how “the people at the bottom are paying for the 
luxuries of those at the top”, according to backers StudioCanal. Brand will 
take the role of presenter-spectator, examining the crisis at financial centres 
in cities such as London and New York.

The Essex-born comic has taken a break from a budding Hollywood career to focus 
on his own unique brand of political activism and recently published the book 
Revolution, advocating the demise of “corporate tyranny, ecological 
irresponsibility and economic inequality”. Brand recently denied reports he was 
to run for mayor of London when incumbent Boris Johnson steps down in 2016.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row last week, Winterbottom said of the film: 
“It’s about inequality and why the 1% seem to have so much and the rest of us 
not quite so much. Everyone knows about equality and what’s going on in the 
world, so the idea is to point out the ludicrous extremes of our society.”

The Emperor’s New Clothes is due to be unveiled at the American Film Market in 
Santa Monica next week. The film began shooting earlier this month, according 
to Winterbottom, known for films such as 24 Hour Party People, In This World 
and The Road to Guantánamo. The acclaimed English film-maker recently premiered 
The Face of an Angel, which was inspired by the media furore around the killing 
of English student Meredith Kercher, at the Toronto film festival.

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