A biopic about the life of LGBT activist and former bare-knuckle fighter Mikey Walsh is in the works and Benedict Cumberbatch has just signed on to play the fighter’s father.
Gypsy Boy will be based on the activist’s memoir of the same name, detailing his time fighting in the Romany Gypsy community before being forced out of his family when he came out as gay in 1996.
Cumberbatch will play Walsh’s demanding father, Frank, whose dedication to grooming his son to be a boxer ultimately tears the family apart.
“I was immediately drawn to Mikey’s courageous and heart-breaking story. And his father Frank is unlike any character I’ve played before,” Cumberbatch said in a statement. “He’s a complex man torn between tradition and his love for a son struggling to come to terms with an identity that’s completely at odds with Frank and his culture.”
just finished reading IT.. officially, the biggest, most epic sized book I have ever read! & I loved it. Monster Squad meets Stand by me! pic.twitter.com/NeyW4AgOgP
— Mikey Walsh (@thatbloodyMikey) August 31, 2017
The producers are currently scouting young actors to play Mikey opposite Cumberbatch.
Walsh’s first autobiography, Gypsy Boy, became a bestseller in the U.K. when it was released in 2010, and a follow-up, Gypsy Boy on the Run, was published in 2011.