Wrexham AFC set to star in new film created by locals as shooting starts next summer
A film focused around Wrexham Football Club written, directed and produced by town locals is set to start shooting next summer.
“A League Apart” was in the works for many years before finally being announced for shooting in 2021 and is a passion project for all those involved.
Written by the late Robin Bell (‘Twisted Showcase’), the romantic comedy follows Phil (Celyn Jones), a ‘lovable yet down-on-his-luck man’ obsessed with Wrexham AFC who must prove to his girlfriend, Christina, that she is more important to him than his football team winning.
Director S.J. Evans (‘Hiraeth’; ‘Dead of the Nite’) has told Wrexham.com he is looking forward to doing a “full out romantic comedy,” and is dedicating the film to Robin who died of cancer last year at the age of 37.
“Sadly, we lost the writer, Robin Bell, last year and I promised his family that this would be his legacy,” said S.J. “I’m going to do everything in my power to make it the best film possible.”
This will be the first time S.J. has directed a ‘full-out’ comedy, although his films consist of it, so it will bring new challenges for the Wrexham-born director.
He said: “Life’s all about challenges and trying something new.
“I believe in my abilities to direct comedy – my films in the past have had elements of it in there, whether it’s been the horror or the dramas that I’ve done, so I’m very much looking forward to working with some really good comedy names.”
One of those comedy names set to star is Ricky Tomlinson, (‘The Royle Family’; ‘Mike Bassett: England Manager’) who has ties to the Wrexham area stemming several decades.
“He’s a comedy legend,” says S.J. “So, just to see him work and bring his own spin to the character, and bring it to life, will be exciting.
“We’ve got as a cast attached to the project as well – we’ve got Ruth Madoc doing a small part in the film as well as Sophie Evans, who’s in ‘The World’s End’, and we’ve got Guy Henry making a cameo as well, who’s in ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’.
“So, we’ve got lots of brilliant comedy actors in there and I’m very much looking forward to working with them and bringing Robin’s script to life.”
Although the film is a work of fiction, the climax revolves around the real-life 1992 FA Cup fixture between then bottom of the Fourth Division Wrexham and reigning First Division champions Arsenal, a tie which saw Wrexham progress in a 2-1 win.
So, for a season ticket holder and fan since 1986 like S.J., this is a passion project which would add to the recent good news of Wrexham Football Club’s takeover from owners-elect Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
S.J. says he “welled up” with tears in his eyes when learning of the takeover announcement and welcomes the move which he says mirrors his desire to raise the profile of the club and town.
“I know Andy Evans, he’s also a Wrexham lad who’s producing alongside, and myself are very passionate about making the best story that we can,” he said.
“What I would say to the Wrexham fans – when you can watch it, you’re going to get goosebumps and chills at the climax. It’s a really funny script and it’s going to make everybody leaving feel good, unless you’re an Arsenal fan probably!”
By Jordan Adams
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