Ron Scalpello commences My Name Is Lenny
by Naman Ramachandran
- Josh Helman, Chanel Cresswell, Michael Bisping star
Director Ron Scalpello has commenced principal photography at London locations on My Name Is Lenny, based on the true-life story of Britain’s most notorious bare-knuckle fighter, Lenny McLean, also known as The Guv’nor. Josh Helman (Mad Max: Fury Road) stars in the title role while Chanel Cresswell, BAFTA Best Supporting Actress winner for television’s This Is England ’90, plays his wife Val McLean, with current UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (xXx: Return of Xander Cage) as his arch rival, Roy ‘Pretty Boy’ Shaw. The supporting cast features Michael Gambon (Dad’s Army), Nick Moran (The Habit of Beauty), Jennifer Brooke (Astral), Charley Palmer Rothwell (Legend [+see also:
film profile]) and the current bare knuckle world champion fighter Decca Heggie.
Scalpello made his feature debut with Offender (2012) and went on to direct Pressure (2015) and the documentary Bobby (2016). He directs from an original screenplay by Paul Van Carter (Offender) and Martin Askew (Snow in Paradise [+see also:
interview: Andrew Hulme
film profile]). The film is a production from UK outfit Salon Pictures with the company founders Van Carter and Nick Taussig producing alongside Jamie McLean, son of Lenny, and Michael Mendelsohn of US entity Patriot Pictures. Salon’s Christopher J Reynolds executive produces while Mendelsohn’s Union Patriot Capital Inc. will fully finance the picture. Embankment Films is handling international sales, with Lionsgate releasing the film in the UK. Salon has also produced the feature documentary The Guv’nor about McLean, directed by Van Carter.
Van Carter said, “Salon is delighted to finally bring the legend of Lenny to life by making an intelligent and intimate film with our amazing cast. This is the second film we have made with the McLean family, and the fourth feature Salon has financed and shot this year. Having also produced for Ron Scalpello we have no doubt that Ron will create a true cult classic, not just thrilling and stylish, but emotional, personal, and touching, too.”
Jamie McLean said, “It has been thirty years since someone planted the seed in my dad’s head to make a movie about his life. He never saw that become a reality, and many have tried and failed over the years, but it is with great pride and joy that we are now able to honour my father’s memory and finally tell his incredible story on the big screen, and there’s no better man to take the role of my dad than Josh Helman.”