First Look: Josh Helman Punches In for Leading Role in Ron Scalpello’s Streetfighter Biopic MY NAME IS LENNY
SIR MICHAEL GAMBON, NICK MORAN, CHANEL CRESSWELL, MICHAEL BISPING co-star
Salon Pictures has announced that principal photography on their new feature film, MY NAME IS LENNY, has begun today, taking place over four weeks in Hoxton and Islington. The feature has been acquired for UK by Lionsgate.
MY NAME IS LENNY is based on the true life story of Britain’s most notorious bare-knuckle fighter, Lenny McLean, also known as The Guv’nor. Josh Helman (X-Men: Apocalypse; Mad Max: Fury Road) stars as Britain’s toughest man, with BAFTA winner Chanel Cresswell (This Is England: 90; The Aliens) as his wife, Val McLean, and current UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (Twin Peaks; xXx: Return of Xander Cage) as his arch rival, Roy ‘Pretty Boy’ Shaw. The supporting cast also features Michael Gambon (Harry Potter series; Hail Caesar), Nick Moran (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1&2) Jennifer Brooke (Astral), Charley Palmer Rothwell (Legend, Ripper Street) and the current bare knuckle world champion fighter Decca Heggie.
Directed by Ron Scalpello (Offender; Pressure; Bobby), the screenplay is an original work written by Paul Van Carter (Offender; The Guv’nor) and Martin Askew (Snow In Paradise; Rocknrolla). Writer Paul Van Carter and fellow Salon founder, Nick Taussig, produce, alongside Jamie McLean, son of Lenny, and Michael Mendelsohn of Patriot Pictures, LLC (Vengeance: A Love Story, I Am Wrath, Lord of War, Air Force One, Madness of King George), and Salon’s Christopher J Reynolds executive produces. Mendelsohn’s Union Patriot Capital Inc. will fully finance the picture, and Embankment Films’ Tim Haslam and Hugo Grumbar are handling international sales, with Lionsgate releasing the film in the UK. Salon Pictures recently wrapped on Jonathan Teplitzky’s CHURCHILL starring Brian Cox and Miranda Richardson.
MY NAME IS LENNY chronicles Lenny McLean’s origin as a young street fighter in 1970s East End London, the haunting effects of horrific childhood abuse, and his bitter rivalry with Roy Shaw across three unlicensed boxing matches, culminating in Lenny taking the championship title of “The Guv’nor”.
In his later life, Lenny McLean went on to become a bestselling author, and won TV and film roles, the most well known being “Barry the Baptist” in Guy Ritchie’s debut Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, shortly before passing away in 1998.
Salon has also produced the feature documentary The Guv’nor about McLean, which premiered in competition at the East End Film Festival and will be released on DVD from October 10th, again courtesy of Lionsgate.
Paul Van Carter said today “Salon is delighted to finally bring the legend of Lenny to life by making an intelligent and intimate film with our amazing cast. This is the second film we have made with the McLean family, and the fourth feature Salon has financed and shot this year. Having also produced for Ron Scalpello we have no doubt that Ron will create a true cult classic, not just thrilling and stylish, but emotional, personal, and touching, too.”
Jamie McLean said today “It has been thirty years since someone planted the seed in my dad’s head to make a movie about his life. He never saw that become a reality, and many have tried and failed over the years, but it is with great pride and joy that we are now able to honour my father’s memory and finally tell his incredible story on the big screen, and there’s no better man to take the role of my dad than Josh Helman.”
About Salon Pictures
Founded in 2013 by Paul Van Carter and Nick Taussig, and based in London, SALON produces prestige film and documentary with international reach. Last year Salon’s feature doc GASCOIGNE was released by eOne and reached platinum sales, feature doc THE CHALLENGE was sold to Discover and won best film at Milan Film Festival. This year sees THE ICONOCLAST released by Saboteur in the US, and Andrew Kotting’s LEK & THE DOGS released by Soda. Early next year Salon will shoot Chris Foggin’s sophomore feature MEET ME IN TEN YEARS. This summer Salon wrapped on period biopic CHURCHILL, starring Brian Cox and Miranda Richardson, and THE GUV’NOR doc which premiered in competition at East End Film Festival, also released by Lionsgate.
About Patriot Pictures
Patriot Pictures recently developed, financed, and produced VENGEANCE: A LOVE STORY starring Nicolas Cage and Don Johnson; CHOCOLATE CITY 2 starring Robert Ri’chard, Mekhi Phifer, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Jai White, and Mel B; I AM WRATH starring John Travolta and directed by Chuck Russell (“The Mask”); USS INDIANAPOLIS starring Nicolas Cage; ZEROVILLE starring James Franco, Seth Rogan, Will Ferrell, and Megan Fox and directed by James Franco; and WILD HORSES starring Robert Duvall, James Franco, Josh Hartnett, and directed by Robert Duvall.