EXCLUSIVE: Magic Mike and I Am Number Four star Alex Pettyfer is attached to star in The Chelsea Cowboy, based on the colorful life of Brit actor, tough guy and lothario, John Bindon.
The project will chart the rise and fall of underworld hard-man turned actor Bindon, who despite a successful acting career and passionate romantic liaisons with various socialites, was unable to leave his criminal past behind.
Ben Cookson (Waiting For Anya) is directing. World sales are being handled by Moviehouse Entertainment which is introducing the title to buyers at this week’s virtual European Film Market.
Bindon was frequently in trouble as a youth for getting into fights and spent time in borstal. He was spotted in a London pub by Ken Loach who asked him to star in his film Poor Cow in 1967 and went on to play a violent mobster alongside Mick Jagger in Performance (1970) and a London crime boss in Michael Caine classic Get Carter (1971).
He was well known for relationships with socialite girlfriends including Christine Keeler, the former Playboy ‘Bunny Girl’ Serena Williams and Vicki Hodge, with whom he had a turbulent and abusive 12-year relationship. According to legend, his liasons even extended to Princess Margaret, with whom he spent three weeks at her Caribbean home.
Bindon was alleged to have connections to the Kray Twins and the Richardson Gang. In the late 1970s, in addition to acting work, he provided security for actors and musicians, including Led Zeppelin on their 1977 U.S. tour, where he was sacked for brawling backstage.
In 1978, Bindon was tried for the murder of London gangster Johnny Darke. Bindon pleaded self-defence and was acquitted, but the case damaged his reputation.
Leon Butler (100 Streets) has scripted and produces alongside Victor Glynn (Staged) with the plan to shoot in September 2021. Producers are Life Begins and GCB Films, alongside Pettyfer and James Ireland’s production company Dark Dreams Entertainment.
Director Cookson said: “I am delighted to have Alex onboard and more than excited to see what he brings to the role of John Bindon – a complex, artistic yet brutal, loveable-rogue who charmed paupers and princesses alike in London’s vibrant sixties and seventies.”
Cookson most recently directed Waiting For Anya, which starred Oscar-winner Anjelica Huston, Leon actor Jean Reno and Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp. Butler’s 2016 drama 100 Streets starred Idris Elba and Gemma Arterton.
Pettyfer most recently starred with Michael Shannon in Echo Boomers and is in post on thriller Warning with Annabelle Wallis, Thomas Jane and Alice Eve.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.