Salon Pictures has just confirmed having wrapped My Name is Lenny after a four week shoot in London’s East End. The feature film, which added Academy Award nominated and BAFTA winning actor John Hurt (Alien, Midnight Express, The Elephant Man, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) to the cast, is being represented by the UK’s Embankment Films for worldwide sales, and will be distributed in the UK in 2017 by Lionsgate UK.
Based on a real story, My Name is Lenny chronicles the origins of Britain’s most notorious bare-knuckle fighter, Lenny McLean (also known as The Guv’nor), 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.
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. In addition to John Hurt, the supporting cast features 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.
The film is helmed by Ron Scalpello (Offender; Pressure; Bobby), and penned 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, The Madness of King George). Salon’s Christopher J Reynolds executive produces. Mendelsohn’s Union Patriot Capital Inc. fully finances the picture, and Embankment’s Tim Haslam and Hugo Grumbar are managing worldwide sales, with Lionsgate releasing the film in the UK.
Salon Pictures recently wrapped on Jonathan Teplitzky’s Churchill starring Brian Cox and Miranda Richardson, also represented for worldwide sales by Embankment. Salon has also produced the feature documentary The Guv’nor about McLean, which will be released on DVD from October 10th, again courtesy of Lionsgate.
Talking of the project, director Ron Scalpello said: “There are many East End legends that have been brought to the screen recently, but Lenny McLean’s story has always fascinated me. Paul van Carter’s and Martin Askew’s script goes beyond the hyper-masculinity of this giant of a man and looks at the construction of an invincible identity that was forged in trauma. We’ve attracted a wonderful and diverse cast to bring this daring, street-fighting man and his 70’s world to life. MY NAME IS LENNY will be a visceral, brutal and emotional experience. I, like many people, can’t wait to see Lenny’s story on the big screen.”