By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 5, 2011 at 2:13AM
Maybe one of the hardest working showmen in the UK right now, love him or hate him... he has at least 2 new films I can immediately recall that are currently in circulation - the dramedy Huge, and the prison drama Screwed; he's also shooting (or may have already wrapped production on) the marriage romcom, The Knot, and is in pre-production for an upcoming drama titled Bliss!.
This morning, we can add 2 more new titles to his future, as Mr Noel Clarke revealed that his next project will be set in the world of MMA - Mixed Martial Arts for the uninitiated - which he wrote (he's been working on it for 2 years) and will also direct.
Screen Daily says the film, which will be set in set in both in the UK and the US, will be " in the vein of The Wrestler, The Fighter and Rocky" - all acclaimed titles.
Synopsis? It's being described as a "character driven film about a down on his luck MMA fighter who gets drawn further into the sport than he would have liked.".
Of course, Clarke will play the lead, starring alongside stars from the real MMA world. He plans to start working out to pack on some lean muscle to his svelte frame.
“I looked at films like The Wrestler and The Fighter and thought to myself, ‘Why hasn’t there been a British film like that?’ I’m trying to expand what British films do. When Adulthood and Kidulthood came out there wasn’t anything like those, now its created a genre... I’ve been a massive fan of the sport [MMA] for a long time and this felt like the right time to make this film, as I’ve got more confident as a film-maker... MMA is more popular than football when you look at the attendance figures. It’s the fastest growing sport in the world,” says Clarke.
Shooting is scheduled for October 2011.
And in the same Screen Daily report, there was this single line which shouldn't go unnoticed: "He is also set to star in a high profile sci-fi film, more details of which will be released later this week."
Hmm... what could that high-profile sci-fi movie be? Might it be his first Hollywood project? Flashback to March 2010, on the old S&A site, when I posted an entry announcing that Clarke was reportedly penning a sci-fi script for Lionsgate, aiming to direct and star. It's a film titled simply, 83, and was described as a sci-fi flick set in contemporary London, about "the disappearance of 83 passengers on a London tube and the dark secret revealed by this phenomenon."
Alien abductions maybe?
And even though it doesn't state so, I'm guessing Clarke will also direct. Now the question is who else will be acting in this, since it's being labelled a "high-profile" project.
So, is Noel Clarke the Tyler Perry-equivalent in the UK? Not in terms of content nor style of course, but the fact that he pretty much does it all - acts, writes, produces and directs his own material, and seems to be one of the few black British talents who can actually get films financed and in theaters.