EXCLUSIVE: Camelot Films has added a raft of cast to its upcoming feature Prizefighter: The Life of Jem Belcher with principal photography set to commence on May 9 on location in Wales.
Matt Hookings (The Obscure Life of the Grand Duke of Corsica) will star in the titular role, alongside boxing enthusiast Ray Winstone (Black Widow) as Bill Warr, a keen pugilist who becomes both trainer and surrogate father to the film’s lead character, Jem Belcher. Also aboard are Marton Csokas (The Luminaries), Jodhi May (The Witcher), Steven Berkoff (Vikings), Julian Glover (Game of Thrones) and William Moseley (Artemis Fowl). Additional actors are in talks.
The film will tell the little known true story of boxer James Belcher, whose journey to become the youngest ever boxing world champion at the age of nineteen in 1800 helped transform primitive pugilism into the sport of boxing as we know it today. Growing up in poverty and surrounded by violence and addiction, ‘Jem’ is saved by a benevolent mentor and the discipline of boxing, becoming one of the most exciting sportsmen in England. But when a terrible accident befalls him, leaving him blind in one eye and unable to defend his title, he turns back to the ways of his past, sparking a destructive downfall. He finds himself defeated but, refusing to give up, slowly finds a path to recovery to reclaim his title and a place in history as a pioneer of the sport.