Jack O'Connell to play Happy Mondays' Shaun Ryder in biopic
The film, based on Ryder’s autobiography, will track the singer’s journey from a guitar-loving child to a leading light of Madchester’s party scene. Fans of the TV show Skins will know that O’Connell is comfortable in a rave setting, having already starred as rebel hedonist Cook in his breakout TV role.
O’Connell will next be seen in Hope Dickson Leach’s the Cradle and Kiké Maíllo’s Love Is a Gun. He is also set to play Alexander McQueen in Andrew Haigh’s biopic of the fashion designer.
Jason Isaacs, fresh from Star Trek and The OA, is in negotiations to play Ryder’s father, Derek, who was apparently dubbed “Horseman” to prevent his kids calling him “dad” in public, and is said to be the inspiration behind the Happy Monday’s song Kinky Afro. Maxine Peake is in talks to star as Ryder’s mother.
Director Matt Greenhalgh said: “Shaun and the last true working-class band – the Happy Mondays – mainlined into my musical DNA when I was 16 years old … Ryder is the son of John Lennon, Johnny Rotten with a few kilos of John Belushi stamped in.” Production is set to begin in January.