While he hasn’t quite become the Dudley Moore-style megastar he once seemed likely to be, Steve Coogan‘s big-screen career has been modestly successful so far, not least when he collaborates with prolific British director Michael Winterbottom. In “24 Hour Party People,” “A Cock and Bull Story” and “The Trip,” they’ve produced three warm, terrific comedies together, and we’re always pleased to hear that the duo are continuing to collaborate.
While one planned project, the Uzbekistan-set comedy-drama “Murder in Samarkand” never materialized, it looks like the pair have a new possible film on their slate. Comedy site Chortle report that Coogan and Winterbottom are planning to adapt the life of British pornographer and strip club owner Paul Raymond into a movie, for Film Four, with the working title “Paul Raymond’s Wonderful World of Erotica.”
The Liverpool-born Raymond started off with a touring nude show before founding Raymond’s Revuebar, a private club, in London’s Soho in 1958. In the following years, he also took over the legendary Windmill Theatre (as seen in Stephen Frears‘ “Mrs. Henderson Presents“), and founded the magazines “King,” “Men Only,” “Razzle” and “Mayfair.” He invested much of his money in property in the Soho area, amassing a fortune that, on his death at the age of 82 in 2008 was worth at least £650 million. But his life wasn’t without its darkness: he was the victim of several extortion attempts, including one by the IRA, and his daughter Debbie died of a heroin overdose in 1992.
It certainly seems like rich pickings for the pair, and could certainly serve as a worthy successor to “24 Hour Party People.” Writer Paul Willett, whose biography of Raymond “Members Only” was published last year, revealed the attachment of Coogan and Winterbottom over the weekend, and it appears that Matt Greenhalgh, writer of Ian Curtis and John Lennon biopics “Control” and “Nowhere Boy,” is penning the script. It’s unlikely that this is happening immediately, with Winterbottom next directing the Jack Black comedy “Bailout,” but we imagine that if the stars align, this could find itself before cameras sometime in 2012.