AceShowbiz - Boxing fan Ray Winstone is to step into the ring to play the trainer of James Belcher, a half-blind British bare-knuckle prize-fighter, in a new historical biopic.
Belcher, who will be portrayed by Matt Hookings in the new film, helped pioneer the sport of boxing in the early 1800s when he became a champion at 19 and then lost sight in one eye following an accident.
The project will reteam Hookings, director Daniel Graham and producers at Camelot Films, who all worked together on the movie "The Obscure Life of the Grand Duke of Corsica", and the young actor can't wait to get started.
"This is the movie that every boxing fan has been waiting for as it tells for the first time the real origins of the modern-day sport that they love," Hookings tells Deadline. "Jem's life was tragic and unique but highly inspirational and he should take his proper place in the history as a true forgotten hero."
"Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher", which is scheduled to start production in Wales next month (April 2021), will be Graham's third film as a director.
"As a director, I am fascinated with characters who find unconventional ways of doing things - even if it means sowing the seed of their own destruction," he adds. "Prizefighter is an immensely exciting opportunity to realize my vision set amidst a pivotal point in England's history."