EXCLUSIVE: Dax Phelan (Jasmine, The Other Side of the Wind) has acquired the rights to UK author Mark Turley’s boxing book Journeymen: The Other Side of the Boxing Business, a New Perspective on the Noble Art, and will be shopping the project during Toronto.
The novel follows an alcoholic, drug-abusing, past-his-prime journeyman boxer, who, after being diagnosed with neurological damage, continues his career on the small-hall circuit at grave risk to himself, in the hope that he can reach the rare achievement of one hundred professional bouts.
Phelan will direct and co-write the adaptation with Turley. The pic will be produced by Phelan and Eric M. Klein (Jasmine) and executive produced by Turley. The team are searching for a lead actor now; they are planning to hire real-life boxers to round out the cast.
“I’ve been looking for a way to tell a different kind of boxing story for years and Mark’s exploration of the dark underbelly of the boxing business proved irresistible, revealing a new perspective on the noble art,” Phelan said.
“It’s a subject which lends itself so readily to the screen,” Turley added, “But boxing films invariably miss the mark a little. Authenticity is important to me and from my conversations with Dax, his passion for the material shone through. It’s going to be an exciting collaboration.”