The screenwriter first time director said an "insane love" of the book 'Brighton Rock' inspired him to remake the movie and getting legendary stars Helen Mirren and John Hurt to take part made him realise his script was a winner.
He told BANG Showbiz: "Working with Helen and John was fantastic, very scary in some ways but also a kind of good seal of approval for a first time director. The fact that they're going to be in the film it can't be that bad a script. That all pays dividends."
He said: "It was fantastic to work with them. Andrea is destined for great things as is Sam. It was lovely to get them at this stage when I felt like I was taking a similar journey with them.
"For Andrea it was her first big feature role and it was my first directing role and for Sam apart from 'Control' he was still relatively fresh so it was a nice sense of a shared adventure."
He then joked: "We're nipping them in the bud, ensuring they never get any work again."