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Relax – A Frankie Goes To Hollywood Biopic is in the works

Working Title is co-producing with Independent Entertainment RELAX, the musical biopic of 80s iconic band Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and will launch sales in Cannes.

The film will tell the hilarious, outrageous and revolutionary tale of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and the creation of their infamous hit single, RELAX. Based on Holly Johnson’s memoir ‘A Bone in My Flute’, the film was written and will be helmed by Bernard Rose, the director behind the original “Relax” music video, and 1992’s seminal horror classic, Candyman.

Rose had this to say about the project. “Combining the wit of the Beatles, the power of The Rolling Stones and the outrage of The Sex Pistols, Frankie Goes To Hollywood went from unemployed Liverpudlians to Kings of pop on the back of their epic banned record RELAX. In 1984 they outsold Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Duran Duran. Their epic rise, bringing the then deeply underground S+M and LGBTQ club scene screaming into the limelight, is the energetic and moving story of underdogs that win one for the ages. I was very much a part of the hoopla, having directed the original ‘banned’ RELAX video and I want to bring that innocent and daring world of 1984 back to life for a new audience today…”

Callum Scott Howells, best known for his scene-stealing performance in IT’S A SIN, will play lead singer, Johnson, further casting will be announced soon.

Callum Scott Howells
Credit: The Other Richard

The song “Relax” was banned by the BBC in 1984 while at number six in the charts and subsequently topped the UK Singles Chart for five consecutive weeks, going on to enjoy prolonged chart success throughout that year and ultimately becoming the sixth best-selling UK single of all time.

Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce for Working Title and Luc Roeg is producing for Independent Entertainment.

Universal Music, who hold the band’s catalogue, are fully supporting the project.

Tim Bevan, Co-Chairman of Working Title said “Working Title is always looking to champion British stories and so the opportunity to shine a light on Frankie Goes To Hollywood, a British band who truly revolutionised the UK music industry, was a natural fit for us. Working under the direction of Bernard Rose, the project will star exciting young talent, Callum Scott Howells in the lead, and Independent Entertainment as partner. We can’t wait to get started.”

Luc Roeg, Independent Entertainment, added “Frankie Goes To Hollywood were an unflinching ground-breaking band that paved the way for so many young performers today. Partnering with Working Title to bring their story to the screen is incredibly exciting. We can’t think of anyone better than Bernard Rose, and our talented young lead, Callum Scott Howells, to bring this iconic moment in pop history to life.”

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