‘Top Boy’ Director Brady Hood in Talks With Herd to Helm Drama ‘The Pastor,’ Based on Life of Sinner Turned Saint Mick Fleming (EXCLUSIVE)

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Pastor Mick Fleming – a former drug dealer who found God and set up a church that would one day be visited by Prince William and his wife Catherine – is set to be the subject of a new drama series called “The Pastor,” Variety can exclusively reveal.

Herd have optioned Fleming’s life rights.

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Top Boy” director Brady Hood is already in talks to helm the project, which is set to shoot in the U.K. and Portugal, while Andrew Knott and William Ash (“Twisting My Melon”) have signed on to write the screenplay.

Herd will oversee the shoot in the U.K. while their production partner Moviebox will oversee Portugal.

Fleming shot to fame in December 2020 when he became the subject of a BBC News report that was watched by 50 million people. In the throes of the pandemic Fleming, a former drug dealer, set up a church and project that included delivering food, fridges and even beds to households in need and becoming a lifeline for families and those struggling with poverty, loneliness and mental health issues.

What the public didn’t realize is that Fleming was raped in childhood by a stranger, lost his older sister and turned to drugs. That led him to a life of crime, which continued until one day he found himself waiting to shoot a man who emerged from a gym with his two small children. Having an epiphany, Fleming instead turned the gun on himself but miraculously survived. After a long road to recovery, during which he was unhoused, Fleming even met the man who raped him, a man he had long fantasized about murdering. Instead, he helped the man conquer his alcoholism, never once telling him about their horrific connection.

Andrew Knott and William Ash (courtesy of Herd)
Andrew Knott and William Ash (courtesy of Herd)

Fleming has gone on to become a pillar of his community in Burnley, even welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to his church, and is set to release a biography, titled “Blown Away: From Drug Dealer to Life Bringer,” which launches later this month.

Knott and Ash are actors, writers and directors who have penned comedy dramas for BBC Radio 4, “The Odd Job” and “Here After,” and a short titled “Joey,” featuring John Simm and Andrea Lowe. Their debut feature “Twisting My Mellon” is set to go into production next March.

Hood is currently working on an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” starring Olivia Colman and Matt Berry. Parties hope the deal for coming on board “The Pastor” will be finalized within weeks.

“When we first heard about the incredible life of Pastor Mick Flemming we were gripped and captivated by the astonishing journey he’s been on,” said Knott and Ash. “More importantly, we instantly knew this was a story we wanted to bring to the screen. From terrifying drug dealer and addict operating in the violent criminal underworld of ’90s Britain, to compassionate man of God dedicating his life to helping people on the streets of his hometown of Burnley – his redemption has been nothing short of miraculous. We’re thrilled to be working on this project with Herd and feel honoured to be able to author Mick’s extraordinary life story.”

Herd’s Ben Dillon said: “It’s a humbling privilege to be part of the team tasked with bringing Mick Fleming’s story to life. ‘The Pastor’ will transport the viewer to a place largely unknown – the streets of Burnley – yet holds a mirror image of our collective history over the last 50 years. But whilst the story is specific to Burnley, celebrating the town and people, the story of pain, suffering and redemption is as universal as it is profound.”

Pastor Mick Fleming added: “My story although painful and not for the fainted hearted gives hope that change is possible.”

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