Ugly Duckling Films actively acquires and develops intellectual property. Below is just a sample of projects on our current slate.

We Are Your Children

Inspired by true events, We Are Your Children follows a female cop, gay rights activist and drag queen unite to stop a series of targeted homosexual killings in 1970s San Francisco. 

The series is written and created by BAFTA Rocliffe winner Ryan Brown, and is a 2018 UK TV Brit List nominee. It is being actively packaged by WME, with development funds provided via Ingenious Media.

The Bike Thief

Set in multicultural modern day north London, The Bike Thief follows an immigrant pizza deliverer, who works long hours to keep a roof over his wife and kids’ heads. When his bike is stolen, however, the man finds himself isolated and forced to rethink his moral compass in order to keep his family safe. Taking place over just a few days, The Bike Thief is a fast-paced thriller that also explores what it means to be human amidst the concept of anonymity.

The screenplay is written by Matt Chambers and will be his debut feature. The film is being produced with Peregrine Kitchener-Fellowes.

The Optimist

A series adaptation of visual artist Sophie Kipner's debut novel The Optimist, that introduces Tabitha Gray, a delusional girl from Topanga, California, who redefines what it means to be a truly hopeless romantic.

Published in the UK in 2016 via Unbound, and due for US publication in 2018, the book was chosen as a Daily Mail Summer Read and received a four-page spread in Grazia UK and China.

Paper Babylon

A true story about love and friendship, obsession and self-acceptance, Paper Babylon is ultimately about the continual struggle to find love in a loveless world.

The screenplay has been written by Henry Eagleton, Greer Ellison and Sophia Gibber, and has been developed in association with Northern Ireland Screen

Des Hamilton (Nymphomaniac, Only God Forgives) is casting.


7 Island City

A fast-paced, dark thriller set in Mumbai City that explores what makes us human, what binds families together, and how we discover and assert our identities in this ever-changing, mercurial landscape.

Written by James Higginson (Early Man), R. Yula and Mark McNally, the screenplay is being developed in association with Northern Ireland Screen.


Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning

Adapted from the international bestseller by Hallgrimur Helgason Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning follows a hitman for the Croatian mafia in New York City, as he is forced to flee the States and accidentally ends up in Iceland disguised as a Southern televangelist. A satirical yet poignant exploration into the good and bad in all of us, the film is produced with Denmark's Miso Films.

The screenplay is written by James Higginson and Robert Yula.