Woody Harrelson’s debut film as director, Lost in London, will be filmed in a single take and broadcast live into over 500 cinemas.

The one-time Cheers star has declared that his adventurous movie project is `about one of the worst nights of my life,’ describing it as “a deep, soul-searching comedy.” 

The movie idea was inspired by a real-life 2002 incident when the actor spent the night in a police cell after apparently damaging the inside of a taxi in which he was a passenger following a night at a Soho club. Harrelson was arrested after police gave chase to a second cab in which he had fled.

"No one’s ever shot a movie and live-broadcast it in cinemas at the same time," he says. "No one’s ever been that stupid, until now.”

EW reported that the 100-minute shoot will begin on January 20, screening in the UK and simultaneously in the USA. Cinematographer Nigel Willoughby (The Magdalene Sisters, Downton Abbey) urged Harrelson to shoot in a single take, a bold stylistic approach which has reaped critical and box office rewards for the films Victoria and Russian Ark.

In 2012 Harrelson had declared his intention to write a play about the taxi incident. “I love theatre and I love film and I really wanted to figure out a way to merge the two, " he told EW. "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.” Deadline has reported that the film will be reconfigured for conventional release at a later date.

Owen Wilson and veteran musician and actor Willie Nelson will be part of the 30-strong cast of the film, which Harrelson says will be shot in 14 locations. Should  the project fail, Harrelson joked that he would jump off London's Waterloo bridge. “It might be accurate to call this insanity,” he told EW.