TORONTO (September 11, 2020) – Award-winning writer/producer/director, Dax Phelan (Jasmine, The Other Side of the Wind) has acquired the rights to UK author Mark Turley’s internationally renowned, best-selling book and captivating high-octane adventure, “Journeymen.” Set in the United Kingdom, the film will tell the story of an alcoholic, drug-abusing, past-his-prime Journeymen boxer, who, after being diagnosed with neurological damage, continues his career on the small-hall circuit at grave risk to himself, in the hope that he can reach the rare achievement of one hundred professional bouts.
Award-winning writer/producer/director Dax Phelan (Jasmine, The Other Side of the Wind)
Acquires Screen Rights to Internationally Celebrated “Journeymen”
by British author Mark Turley
From the producer of award-winning films like Orson Welles’ “The Other Side of the Wind,” and thriller “Jasmine”,
comes a fresh-new take on an elevated genre, with a portion of the film’s proceeds going to charitable organizations to aid retired boxers and athletes
“I’ve been looking for a way to tell a different kind of boxing story for years and Mark’s exploration of the dark underbelly of the boxing business proved irresistible, revealing a new perspective on the noble art,” Phelan said. “As Mark put it, ‘If this was a Rocky film, it would be about Spider Rico.’”
The book attracted international critical acclaim and made the longlist for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2015.
“It’s a subject which lends itself so readily to the screen” Turley added, “but boxing films invariably miss the mark a little. Authenticity is important to me and from my conversations with Dax, his passion for the material shone through. It’s going to be an exciting collaboration.”
Phelan will co-write the adaptation with Turley and direct. The pic will be produced by Phelan and Eric M. Klein (Jasmine) and executive produced by Turley.
A search for a lead actor is currently underway. For the purposes of authenticity, real-life journeymen boxers and locals will be used to help round out the cast.
A portion of the film’s proceeds will go to charitable organizations that help retired boxers who have fallen on hard times due to mental or physical health issues related to injuries sustained during their careers.
Phelan served as a co-producer on Orson Welles’s long-awaited final film, “The Other Side of the Wind,” which was released by Netflix in 2018. Most recently, Phelan wrote, produced, and directed two award-winning Public Service Announcements about the importance of wearing masks and the mental health crisis.
Mark Turley is the acclaimed author of the upcoming 95% Dead: From Death Bed to World Record. His other books include Wiped Out?: The Jerome Wilson Story, Into the Woods: The Story of a British Boxing Cult Hero, and Redemption: From Iron Bars to Ironman. Turley has written for The Telegraph, FHM, Boxing News, and many other publications.