Your upcoming movie The Krays: New Blood - in a few words, what's it
going to be about?
In a nutshell, itís based around the rumours that Ronnie Kray was
involved in the death of Frances Kray and the ramifications of that.
What can you tell us about your sources of inspiration when
writing The Krays: New Blood, and to what extent is it based on
Thatís the beauty of doing a Krays
film. Not only has there been so
much written but everybody has a story about them. I donít know
anyone whoís spoken to me about it and not opened with "Oh, I
hear youíre doing a film about The
Krays, you must talk to my mate,
heíll tell you the real story...Ē Itís equal parts exhausting
and useful. I was in a meeting with an actress who has connections to
that world and I had mentioned to her one particularly dark twist that
at the time, to me, was fictional and something Iíd made up for the
script. She asked me whoíd told me as it was also a well known
rumour and as I started to research even further, it turned out there
appeared to be some truth behind this incident.
You have made another Krays-movie
not long ago, The
Krays: Dead Man Walking - so will The Krays: New Blood in
any form or way be related to/a continuation of that earlier movie?
We were only actually given a stipend of the original budget on The
Krays: Dead Man Walking, and to me it shows on screen and the
result is that it wasnít the best film but it also sold incredibly
well, and so we were asked to do two sequels - and The
Krays: New Blood is the first of those. The
ending is very much deliberately set up for the third and final
Do talk about The Krays: New Blood's
intended look and feel!
I think Nina Cranstoun would be disappointed to read this and not see
the word Ďbleakí. But it is a bleak, dark and brooding film.
Things like The Gentlemen and Gangs
of London make you realise thereís still so
much life in the genre, but also that you have to keep doing things
better. The bar is set to high, which is partly why pre-production has
taken ao long - we were adamant that we wouldnít move forward with
this until everything was just so.
Anything you can tell us about The
Krays: New Blood's cast yet, and why exactly these people?
A lot of the cast Iíve had the pleasure of working with before.
Nathanjohn Carter and Marc Pickering are back as the twins, Charlie
Woodward, Josh Myers and Lacey Bond are also back, and of course
Nicholas Ball. Brian Capron is joining us, who I grew up watching as Richard
Hillman in Coronation
Street and he's a wonderful actor, plus Michael McKell and Rachel Warren, who I met
on another film a couple of years ago but this is my first time
directing them. We also have two huge names joining us that will be
announced during filming.
John Taylor, Jeffrey Charles Richards and Jasmine Thomas reunite at
Villa Blanca in Los Angeles after announcing The Huntress Of
far as I know, The Krays: New Blood is still in pre-production as
we speak - so what's the schedule, and any idea when and where the film
might be released (even though I know it's probably waaay too early to
Weíre in the final stages of pre-production and are currently
planning to shoot in June, unless we all die from coronavirus. Because
we have such a huge ensemble cast, tying everyone down to the same
dates has been our biggest hurdle but weíve jumped that one nowÖ
Any other future film projects you'd like to
The Krays: New
will be the second collaboration between
my production company Hello Princess
and financiers Altis
International. Once thatís out of the gate, we will be moving
forward with our gangland epic The
Hunt as well as the horror Baba Yaga. Hello Princess
has just announced a slate
of six additional films that Iím writing and directing: The
Disappearance of Little Lottie, Man Eater, The Butcher
Huntress of Auschwitz, Actors Vs Zombies and Silent
inspired by an article I read about Romanian gangs that have been
dosing the babies you see with the beggars with heroin to
keep them calm and placid all day long. Nicholas Ball plays a retired
hitman who canít speak who gets unexpectedly wrapped up in this
world when he attempts to rescue a young girl from it. Obviously, he
himself is running from a troubled past and when you find out the
reason he canít speak, itís both horrifying but also sad.
Iím also excited to reunite with Jeffrey Charles Richards on The
Huntress of Auschwitz. It stars Jasmine Thomas
as a young American girl who travels to Europe to track down a
man she believes to be the Nazi guard who killed her great-grandfather
in Auschwitz. I met Jasmine purely by chance at home in Los Angeles
where my wife and I have a film location agency. I was site repping a
shoot at our own house and Jasmine was the assistant director on the
production. We got talking about her love of horror films and at the
time I was looking for an actress for a proof of concept trailer for
my film Muse. That
trailer ultimately led to it getting greenlit and
weíve stayed in touch since and when this project came up, I
couldnít imagine writing it for anyone else.
Leslie Grantham and Richard John Taylor
You've also recently written a book on Leslie
Grantham - so how did that come about, what fascinated you about Leslie's
story, and when and where will it be released?
Initially I was approached by a publisher, but then I decided to work
on it alone. People forget he is still responsible to this day for the
most watched episode of TV drama in the country. There was an
assumption that after his second stint in EastEnders,
he didnít really do anything but in fact he had a wonderful career
on stage and also in Bulgaria where he continued to act and also
wrote. There was also so much reported incorrectly about his passing
and I wanted to set the record straight. Itís been very difficult to
write but there were particular chapters that were therapeutic. It was
originally supposed to have been released last month to tie in with
the 35th Anniversary of EastEnders, but now it will be released this
Christmas. There were parts of that that just didnít feel complete.
Iíd often go over a page or chapter and rewrite it and I needed more
time to walk away from it and come back to it with fresh eyes. Iím
also in a different emotional state now to when I started writing it
and that has an effect on the tone of some of the chapters that are
more personal. We didnít actually work together on a film until 2012
but weíd shared a very private friendship for many years before
that. I just want it to be right and know that heíd be proud of it.
we're at it, any other book projects in the forseeable future?
Yes, two. One I canít talk about, but the second is an adaptation of
my film Muse into
a novel. The very first drafts of the script were much darker and
disturbing and it was always a script I was very proud of, so it felt
like an appropriate way to do it justice.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Iím on Instagram: @fatherandfilmmaker
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Muse was definitely
a passion project and now there is another in the works, Iíll
See Myself Out, Thank You. When it will get shot I donít know,
as again, it has to be absolutely right. It was an idea that was
bounding around on my head for some time, and then I came across two
actors, Gary and a hugely talented friend of mine, Noel, who sort of
just joined the dots for me. Noel had introduced me to another
musician friend of his, Nev and a song heíd written called Life.
With that on repeat and Gary and Noel in mind, the script started
coming to me more naturally. It follows Eddie Willis, a faded musician
who discovers he has the gene for early-onset Alzheimers and decides
he wants to challenge the right to die, to end his life early. Before
doing so, he reunites with his best friend for one last road trip to
right his wrongs with his estranged family, only to discover people
arenít as welcoming or forgiving as heíd hoped so heís forced to take a hard look at himself. Itís not cheerful, but it
has something to say.
for the interview!