British TV heavyweights Stephen Graham and Steven Knight have teamed up on a new period drama set in the perilous world of illegal boxing in Victorian London.
Thousand Blows is a 12-part series written by Knight, 63, creator of Peaky Blinders and will air on Disney+.
The film follows best friends Hezekiah and Alec, both from Jamaica, as they move into the vibrant and violent East End in the 1880s after the industrial revolution.
As they become drawn to crime in a thriving boxing scene, Hezekiah meets Mary Carr, leader of The Forty Elephant – a notorious all-female London gang – as they fight for survival on the streets.
The film will star Graham, 49, as Sugar Goodson, a seasoned and dangerous boxer whom Hezekiah must confront. The two boxers are quickly locked in a tense confrontation that goes far beyond the boxing ring.
Graham, whose production company Matriarch Productions will co-produce the series, first gained widespread recognition for his role in the 2006 film This Is England and its television sequels.
More recently, Graham starred in the BBC drama Time and Channel 4’s Help, both of which earned him Bafta nominations.
He worked alongside Knight on the final series of Peaky Blinders, playing the role of Hayden Stagg.
Speaking about the series, Graham said: “To be able to work with Steve again and the talented team of writers we have on this project has been truly amazing, and to tell the story of these incredible characters. This surprise during this time in London was a delight.
“In addition to having the honor of bringing the role of Sugar Goodson to life, I am also incredibly proud that Matriarch is co-producing this show and helping to create opportunities for everyone in front and behind the camera to instill a peach ethos create in production that would otherwise make it difficult for some to pursue a career. “
In addition to starring in A Thousand Blows, Graham will also serve as an executive producer, along with his wife and Matriarch Productions co-founders Hannah Walters, Damian Keogh, Kate Lewis, Tom Miller and Sam Myer.
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Broadcaster and history professor David Olusoga will serve as executive producer.
Knight, who wrote the scripts for Closed Circuit and Dirty Pretty Things, is the lead writer, with episodes also written by Ameir Brown, Insook Chappell, Harlan Davies and Yasmin Joseph.
“I am really excited to be working on this project with Stephen and the very talented production and writing team,” said Knight.
“I have always loved diving into untold history, and this is a story that is truly worth telling. We are recreating a fantastic world and telling a remarkable true story.”
The original series in the UK will premiere on Disney+ globally, Star+ in Latin America, and Hulu in the US.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/stephen-graham-to-star-in-illegal-boxing-drama-written-by-steven-knight-41935005.html Stephen Graham to star in illegal boxing drama written by Steven Knight