Chanel Cresswell and Josh Helman in My Name is Lenny.

Principal photography has begun in London on My Name is Lenny, starring Aussie actor Josh Helman (X-Men: Apocalypse, Mad Max: Fury Road) as British bare-knuckle fighter Lenny McLean. 

The film is being produced by Salon Pictures, which recently wrapped on Jonathan Teplitzky’s Churchill starring Brian Cox and Miranda Richardson. 

Joining Helman is current UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping as his arch rival, Roy ‘Pretty Boy’ Shaw as well as veterans Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, Hail Caesar) and Nick Moran (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels).

The film is directed by Ron Scalpello (Offender, Pressure) and written by Martin Askew (Rocknrolla) and Salon co-founder Paul Van Carter (one of the producers of Churchill).

Van Carter said that Salon was "delighted to finally bring the legend of Lenny to life by making an intelligent and intimate film with our amazing cast. This is the second film we have made with the McLean family, and the fourth feature Salon has financed and shot this year. Having also produced for Ron Scalpello we have no doubt that Ron will create a true cult classic, not just thrilling and stylish, but emotional, personal, and touching, too.”

Carter produces with fellow Salon founder Nick Taussig alongside Jamie McLean (son of Lenny) and Patriot Pictures' Michael Mendelsohn (Lord of War, Air Force One, Madness of King George). Salon’s Christopher J. Reynolds is executive producing. 

Said Jamie McLean: “It has been thirty years since someone planted the seed in my dad’s head to make a movie about his life. He never saw that become a reality, and many have tried and failed over the years, but it is with great pride and joy that we are now able to honour my father’s memory and finally tell his incredible story on the big screen, and there’s no better man to take the role of my dad than Josh Helman.” 

Mendelsohn’s Union Patriot Capital Inc. is fully financing the picture, and Embankment Films’ Tim Haslam and Hugo Grumbar are handling international sales. Lionsgate has already nabbed UK rights.

The film chronicles McLean’s origin as a young street fighter in 1970s East End London and his bitter rivalry with Roy Shaw across three unlicensed boxing matches. McLean went on to become a bestselling author as well as actor, most notably as 'Barry the Baptist' in Guy Ritchie’s 1998 debut Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Helman's other credits include Animal Kingdom, McLeod's Daughters, Home and Away, Jack Reacher and The Pacific. The 30-year-old is repped by Lisa Mann Creative Management in Sydney and Gersh in the U.S. 

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