Harewood will direct the film, which is about the long-time rivalry between two of Britain’s most celebrated boxers: Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn.
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Set in the 1990s, the story will follow the two men as they compete for the title of World Boxing Organization middleweight champion, and will also give the audience a glimpse into their personal battles against racism.
It is co-written by author and sports reporter Daniel Harris and “Piggy” writers Belinda Joanna Ampah and Kieron Hawkes. Production will start in 2022.
Harewood is an actor, writer and documentary maker. He has appeared in titles including “The Night Manager,” “Homeland” and “Man In The High Castle” and written a memoir about mental health called “Maybe I Don’t Belong Here.”
“For Whom the Bell Tolls” will be produced by Fulwell 73’s Leo Pearlman and Heather Greenwood (“Cindrella”) and exec produced by Harris
“I’m delighted to be at the helm of this fantastic project,” Harewood said in a statement. “It’s an exceptional script and I was drawn to it immediately as it covers many of the themes I have explored in my documentaries and so fundamentally in my book — that of Black British male identities and the unique struggle to find a sense of balance and belonging. As a result, it feels like the perfect time for me to direct this, my first feature film. As a boxing fan and someone who watched both titanic fights live, uncovering the personal and private stories behind those epic battles has been revelatory and I cannot wait to bring their stories to the screen.”
“Benn vs. Eubank is one of the most epic rivalries in sporting history,” added Pearlman. “But as well as great athletes, Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank are two of the most compelling and unique characters in British sport, both with incredible personal stories to tell. Fulwell 73 continues to build on its high-quality scripted slate and this is exactly the kind of story Fulwell loves to tell – one full of drama and heart, with vital resonance for today’s audiences.”
Greenwood said: “We’re so excited to have David Harewood at the helm of ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls.’ From the moment we first started speaking to him about the project, he truly understood the characters at the heart of the film and we knew he was the perfect person to help bring their stories to life. It’s an astonishingly rich cinematic tale full of humanity and tragedy, and we can’t wait to bring it to the screen.”
“For Whom The Bell Tolls” will feature in the main strand of Film London’s Production Finance Market (PFM) on Oct. 12-13 as part of the BFI London Film Festival.
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