Simon Rumley shoots Once Upon a Time in London
by Naman Ramachandran
- Film charts the rise and fall of a nationwide criminal empire
British filmmaker Simon Rumley has commenced a six-week shoot on Once Upon a Time in London. Written by Will Gilbey, Rumley and Terry Stone, the film dramatises the violent reign of two of London’s most notorious gangsters, Billy Hill and Jack ‘Spot’ Corner and charts the rise and fall of a nationwide criminal empire that lasted until the mid-fifties. Leo Gregory (known for Green Street Hooligans) plays Hill while Terry Stone (Rise of the Footsoldier) plays Corner. The cast also includes Holly Earl (seen in Queen of the Desert), Dominic Keating (known for The Hollywood Sign), Geoff Bell (recently seen in Mine [+see also:
film profile]) and Jamie Foreman (St. George’s Day [+see also:
film profile]) and the ensemble also features comedian Simon Munnery, boxers Frank Buglioni, Steve Collins and Joe Egan, footballer Jamie O’Hara, singer and TV star Nadia Forde, boy band Union J’s JJ Hamblett and magician Ali Cook.
After directing some shorts, Rumley made his feature debut with Strong Language (2000) for which he was nominated in the best newcomer category at the British Independent Film Awards. He won jury prize for best director at the Austin Fantastic Fest for The Living and the Dead [+see also:
film profile] (2006), best feature at the Boston Underground Film Festival for Red White & Blue (2010) and was nominated for a Golden Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival for The ABCs of Death (2012).
Rumley said, “Having spent the last decade or so writing and directing thematically disparate but collectively extreme dramas, it makes absolute sense for me to progress to the gangster genre where love, lust, greed, paranoia, betrayal and violence are every day occurrences. The story of Jack Spot Comer, Billy Hill and their respective battles to become King of London’s Underworld has remained one of Britain’s most dynamic, thrilling and untold stories, but we’ll be exploring it in depth, with psychological dexterity and aiming to make it a unique viewing experience and a great British film.”
Producers Stone and Turner added, “We’re thrilled to be working with Simon Rumley, one of the UK’s most exciting directors. This is a fantastic and long overdue story about the founders of organised crime in Britain. We have an incredible cast and the film promises to be a must see for all true crime fans.”
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