Jack O’Connell (Unbroken), and Jason Isaacs (Hotel Mumbai) are in advanced negotiations to star as Ryder and his father, Derek Ryder, respectively. Also in discussions to join are Holliday Grainger (Patrick Melrose) as Ryder’s girlfriend and Maxine Peake (The Theory of Everything) as his long-suffering mum.
The cautionary rock fable will chart Ryder’s story from childhood, when he was desperate to play in a rock band like his father, a local working-class guitar hero dubbed the ‘Horseman’, to his rise as the frontman for 90s Manchester band the Happy Mondays. Production is slated to start in January, 2020.
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Based on Ryder’s autobiography of the same name, the project was originated and developed by Control and Nowhere Boy scribe Matt Greenhalgh and his production company Maine Road Films. Greenhalgh has co-written the screenplay with Andrew Knott and William Ash and he will make his directorial debut on the movie.
Producing with Greenhalgh are Mark Lane (47 Metres Down) of UK production outfit Tea Shop Productions, and Kevin Sampson. Ford and AGC’s Callum Grant will executive produce together with Jeremy Gawade.
Said Greenhalgh, “Shaun Ryder is the son of John Lennon, Johnny Rotten with a few kilos of John Belushi
stamped in. He’s risen from the dead more times than anyone can remember, and his poetry will last forever. Shaun, and the last true working-class band – the Happy Mondays – mainlined into my musical
DNA when I was sixteen years old. Like millions of others I readily boarded their ecstatic revolution. And
thanks to AGC, I feel honoured to be able to author the only rock’n’roll movie I want to see”.
Greenhalgh is represented by Independent Talent Group, LBI and law firm Lee & Thompson.
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