A new musical biopic around Manchester legend and Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder is in the works that’s based on Ryder’s 2011 autobiography, Twisting My Melon.
Independent studio AGC Studios will fully finance and co-produce the film, chairman and CEO Stuart Ford unveiled at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Jack O’Connell (Unbroken, Money Monster) is in advanced negotiations to star as Ryder, reports Variety, while Jason Isaacs (Hotel Mumbai, The Death of Stalin) will potentially play his father.
Other potential cast members include Holliday Grainger (Patrick Melrose, Cinderella) as Ryder’s girlfriend and Maxine Peake (The Theory of Everything) as his mother.
The biopic was initially developed by writer/director Matt Greenhalgh (Control, Nowhere Boy, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool) and his production company Maine Road Films. Greenhalgh co-wrote the screenplay along with Andrew Knott and William Ash and is set to direct and produce the film, making it his feature-film directorial debut.
“Shaun Ryder is the son of John Lennon, Johnny Rotten with a few kilos of John Belushi stamped in,” Greenhalgh said in a statement.
“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 16 years old. Like millions of others I readily boarded their ecstatic revolution.”
Twisting My Melon will examine how Ryder’s relationship with his father, a working-class guitar hero dubbed the “Horseman,” changed when he achieved his own success.
“Soon his drive and one-of-a-kind songwriting skills catapulted him to front man of the Happy Mondays, the iconic 90s British rock band that would come to define a new cultural era,” reads the official plot description.
“But success challenged Shaun and his relationship with his father in a riotous cautionary rock fable, set against a musical and cultural revolution whose impact can still be felt today.”
Also attached to produce are Mark Lane (47 Metres Down) of UK production firm Tea Shop & Film Company, and Kevin Sampson, while Ford and Callum Grant of AGC will executive produce together with Jeremy Gawade.
Production on the film is scheduled to start in January of 2020. Meanwhile the Happy Mondays are currently on their Greatest Hits tour in the UK and Ireland, including stops at the O2 Academy in Glasgow on 26 October and The Roundhouse in London on 31 October.
Visit the official artist site for tour details.