British actor David Harewood is set to direct his first feature film, For Whom The Bell Tolls, which will chart the rivalry between two of the UK’s greatest boxers, Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn.
The project comes from Cinderella producers Fulwell 73. Leo Pearlman and Heather Greenwood will produce, with filming scheduled for 2022. The feature is participating in the main strand of Film London’s Production Finance Market (PFM), taking place virtually October 12-13.
The pic is co-written by Guardian writer Daniel Harris, who co-directed Universal’s House of Flying Arrows and was a creative producer on Altitude’s Busby. Belinda Joanne Ampah and Kieron Hawkes are also writers; Hawkes previously wrote and directed Piggy, which was produced by Fulwell 73.
Set in the 1990s, the film follows the fighters’ fierce opposition, culminating with their infamous battle for the World Boxing Organisation middleweight title, a fight that defined their individual careers and was hailed as one of the greatest clashes to ever take place on British soil. It also explores the personal lives of the boxers and their challenges outside of the ring.
David Harewood said: “I’m delighted to be at the helm of this fantastic project. It’s an exceptional script and I was drawn to it immediately as it covers many of the themes I have explored in my documentaries and so fundamentally in my book – that of Black British male identities and the unique struggle to find a sense of balance and belonging. As a result, it feels like the perfect time for me to direct this, my first feature film. As a boxing fan and someone who watched both titanic fights live, uncovering the personal and private stories behind those epic battles has been revelatory and I cannot wait to bring their stories to the screen.”
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