A £1m crowdfunding campaign has been launched to support a “no punches pulled” movie on the life of Great Billington-based boxer Frank Bruno.
The former heavyweight champion is backing the fundraising campaign to help get ‘Bruno – The Movie’ off the ground.
Work has began on a script - which will chart the highs and lows of his life from his epic fight with Mike Tyson to his intimate battle with bipolar – with a view to shooting a movie in 2017.
The public can pledge between just £1 and £5,000, in return for rewards such as a copy of the script, being an extra in the film, naming a character, or even accompanying Bruno to the premier. Bruno’s management is also on the lookout for “serious” investors who are prepared to pledge more than £5,000.
As of yesterday (Monday) 61 people have made pledges, bringing the total to £2,932 for the movie being billed as “adrenaline of Rocky, mixed with the heart of The Theory of Everything”.
The website https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1137405665/bruno-the-movie/rewards states that the deadline for making pledges is Sunday, November 6.
Appealing for support, via a video message on the webpage Bruno said: “I want to share my life story with you. I’ve fought Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and I beat Oliver McCall at Wembley to claim my fame in sporting history.
“Some people call me a national treasure, but I’ve been called the people’s champion.
“It hasn’t always been easy, 2003 was the first time I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. It happened twice more before I was diagnosed as having bipolar.
“By me explaining my story I hope it makes it easier for others to come forward to explain theirs.
“Please pledge your support and received great gifts in return.
“Let’s make the Frank Bruno movie happen and let’s kickstart it together. I have had great support over the years and I’d like to thank all my fans from the bottom of my heart.”
Bruno also told the LBO: “We were encouraged to try using Kickstarter to start to obtain funding for the film this was never going to be the total budget of the film and private investment would be needed to accompany any money raised on Kickstarter.
“Kickstarter has created great PR and awareness for the film and if it is unsuccessful we will just use the private investment route but it does give the general public the opportunity to get involved and be part of the film.
“Frank Bruno the movie is still and will remain very much alive – know what I mean Arry!”
David P Davis, known for his work with the BBC on Doctor Who, Merlin, Holby City and Casualty, is busy putting the story together, alongside the 54-year-old boxer.
Davis told World Boxing News: “I was working on another project at The Screen Arts Institute based at the British Film Institute, and Frank’s PA got in touch with me. They wanted someone like me who could do the story of such a British boxing legend - like Frank, justice.
“We’ve been speaking about the project since the beginning of the year and it’s an ongoing process but Frank has led such an interesting and inspirational life.
“The script is not done, but I’m working on it with the help of The Screen Arts Institute based at the BFI. This is a boxing film like Rocky, but it’s also a biopic about a great man who’s led an even greater life, and I want the script to do him justice.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with Frank and he’s such a great guy that I really don’t want to let him down.
“We want to shoot in 2017, but we’ve got to get the thing funded first so we opted to do a Kickstarter campaign to garner as much public interest as possible, but we’d listen to anyone who wants to collaborate with us as we’ve got such a cracking story that has to be told!”