‘A movie about one of the worst nights of my life’ … Woody Harrelson in his Lost in London trailer. Photograph:

Andrew Pulver

Thursday 15 December 2016 17.05 GMT


Woody Harrelson has revealed many of the details of his directorial debut Lost in London, with the project promising to a bizarre mix of autobiography, live theatre and film.

Harrelson announced Lost in London in September, but gave little away other than the title and location. However, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Harrelson explained that Lost in London will be screened live in more than 500 cinemas while it is being shot.

Harrelson has released a teaser trailer for the project, saying: “No one’s ever shot a movie and live-broadcast it in cinemas at the same time. No one’s ever been that stupid, until now.” EW reported that the 100-minute shoot will begin at 02:00 on 20 January in London, simultaneously screening in the US at 2100 EST and 1800 PST. Harrelson also said that, at the suggestion of cinematographer Nigel Willoughby (The Magdalene Sisters, Downton Abbey), he decided to shoot the film in a single take, in the style of Victoria and Russian Ark.

Harrelson describes the content of his film as “a deep, soul-searching comedy” about “one of the worst nights of my life”, saying it was inspired by a real-life incident in 2002 when the actor spent the night in a police cell after apparently damaging the inside of a taxi that had picked him up after an evening at the Chinawhite nightclub, then in Soho, London. Harrelson was eventually arrested after police chased a second cab in which he had fled.

In 2012 Harrelson said that he intended to write a play about the incident, but it would now appear to have metamorphosed into this complex film project. He told EW: “I love theatre and I love film and I really wanted to figure out a way to merge the two. Then I thought this particular story does occur sequentially and cohesively, so I thought I’d like to shoot it in real time, like live cinema or whatever you’d call it.” According to Deadline, the film will then be prepared for conventional release at a later date.

The trailer indicates that Owen Wilson and musician Willie Nelson will be part of the 30-strong cast of the film, which Harrelson says will shoot in 14 locations. Harrelson also promised that if the project failed he would jump off Waterloo bridge in the centre of London. He told EW: “It might be accurate to call this insanity.