Jack O’Connell to Star as Happy Mondays’ Shaun Ryder in Musical Biopic ‘Twisting My Melon’

Jason Isaacs, Holliday Grainger and Maxine Peake in negotiations to co-star

Jack O’Connell is in advanced negotiations to star in a music biopic called “Twisting My Melon” about the life of Shaun Ryder, the frontman of the British band Happy Mondays, AGC Studios chairman and CEO Stuart Ford announced on Friday.

O’Connell would star with Jason Isaacs, Holliday Grainger and Maxine Peake in the film that will be fully financed and co-produced by AGC Studios. Isaacs will play Ryder’s father and fellow musician Derek Ryder, Peake will play his mother, and Grainger would star as Ryder’s girlfriend. Production on the film is slated to begin in January 2020. Here’s the full synopsis for the film:

Brother. Son. Poet. Film Star. Rock’n’Roll Legend.  Since childhood, all Shaun Ryder ever wanted to do was play in a rock band like his father, a local working-class guitar hero dubbed the “Horseman.”  Soon his drive and one-of-a-kind songwriting skills catapulted him to front man of the Happy Mondays, the iconic 90s British rock band that would come to define a new cultural era.  But success challenged Shaun and his relationship with his father in a riotous cautionary rock fable, set against a musical and cultural revolution whose impact can still be felt today.

“Twisting My Melon” is based on Ryder’s memoir of the same name, and Matt Greenhalgh, the writer behind the biopics “Control,” “Nowhere Boy” and “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” will make his feature directorial debut on the film. Greenhalgh also co-wrote “Twisting My Melon” with Andrew Knott and William Ash, and he’ll also produce for his company Maine Road Films.

Also attached to produce are Mark Lane of UK production outfit Tea Shop & Film Company and Kevin Sampson. Ford and AGC’s Callum Grant will executive produce together with Jeremy Gawade.

“Shaun Ryder is the son of John Lennon, Johnny Rotten with a few kilos of John Belushi stamped in. He’s risen from the dead more times than anyone can remember, and his poetry will last forever. Shaun, and the last true working-class band – the Happy Mondays – mainlined into my musical DNA when I was sixteen years old. Like millions of others I readily boarded their ecstatic revolution. And thanks to AGC, I feel honoured to be able to author the only rock’n’roll movie I want to see,” Greenhalgh said in a statement.

Greenhalgh is represented by Sue Rodgers of talent agency Independent Talent Group and Christopher Donnelly at LBI and law firm Lee & Thompson.