Skins Star Jack O’Connell To Play Shaun Ryder In Happy Mondays Biopic
Former Skins actor Jack O'Connell is set to play Shaun Ryder in an upcoming film based on the singer's life.
Twisting My Melon, based on the Happy Mondays frontman's bestselling 2011 autobiography of the same name, is due to start production in January 2020, and charts the iconic singer's rise from a 'young scally who left school at fifteen without ever learning his alphabet' to a global superstar who helped establish the 'Madchester' music scene.
O'Connell, best known for playing James Cook in Skins, is set to take on the lead role in the film, which is also rumoured to star Jason Isaacs and Maxine Peak as Shaun's parents.
At this time it's still unknown who will end up playing Ryder's best friend, bandmate and partner-in-crime Mark 'Bez' Berry, who is surely set to take a leading role himself.
The film marks the directorial debut of Matt Greenhalgh, who has form for producing musical biopics, previously working as a screenwriter on the acclaimed Ian Curtis movie Control and the John Lennon-focused Nowhere Boy.
Speaking about the project, Greenhalgh said: "Shaun Ryder is the son of John Lennon, Johnny Rotten with a few kilos of John Belushi stamped in.
"He's risen from the dead more times than anyone can remember, and his poetry will last forever. Shaun, and the last true working class band - The Happy Mondays - mainlined into my musical DNA when I was 16 years old.
"I feel honoured to be able to author the only rock'n'roll movie I want to see."
The Happy Mondays first formed in Salford in 1980, and were credited with pioneering the 'Madchester' sound, fusing funk, soul and psychedelia with the influence of the emerging rave scene. They scored enduring hits with 'Step On' and 'Kinky Afro', among others, before splitting up in 1993.
Ryder later found further chart success with Black Grape in the mid-1990s, and appeared on Gorillaz' 2005 hit 'Dare'. He continues to perform live with The Happy Mondays and Black Grape.
Twisting My Melon will mark the second time that Shaun Ryder has been portrayed on the silver screen, having previously been played by Danny Cunningham in the 2002 comedy-drama 24 Hour Party People, which charted the rise and fall of Factory Records and Manchester's music scene.
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