Remember that film about the lonely, small-time boxer who got by doing muscle work for a neighbourhood loan shark? Everything about his life resonated ‘underdog’ – he was even left-handed.
When he gets his first break to take his shot at the title, nobody believes he can beat Apollo Creed – not even Rocky – but who can forget the final 10 minutes of the film?
Much like that film’s eponymous hero, former EastEnders star Mark Pegg, is, currently, the underdog, facing the daunting task of raising £400,000 to finish his latest film, Dream On – touted ‘the Rocky of golf’.
Pegg, now a successful film producer, was left with this ambitious undertaking when one of Dream On’s original financiers went bankrupt, halfway through filming.
The romantic-comedy feature film, based on worldwide best-selling book Dream On: One Hacker’s Challenge to Break Par in a Year by John Richardson, stars Richard Coyle, who co-starred in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, and chronicles the true story of a regular bloke from Northern Ireland, on a quest to play a level-par round of golf within a year. Not surprisingly, he gets told by Ryder Cup legend Sam Torrance to “Dream On”.
Pegg, 45, said: “I read John’s book because I was, and still am, a bad golfer – hoping to find that magic moment. I thought the book was fantastic and the more I read, the more it started to lend itself to a film.
“I got in touch with John and was told someone else was buying the rights to make a film, but I managed to sweet talk him into letting me have them. We were going great guns making the film and had shot half of it, but then one of the backers went bankrupt, so we were left with half the filming to do and the task of raising £400k to fund it.
“We came up with the idea to do a crowdfunding campaign on INDIEGOGO, in order to raise the remaining money to complete the last half of the film, and we’re offering a raft of rewards, including the opportunity to receive golf lessons from John Richardson himself and even feature as extra in the film.”
The director of Dream On is award-winning British film and television director and scriptwriter Farren Blackburn, who won a BAFTA for his work on British supernatural drama The Fades, and has, more recently, worked on the immensely popular Netflix original series Daredevil.
He added: “Mark brought John’s novel to my attention and asked me to have a read and see if I felt there was a film in it. I read it and thought it was fantastic.
“It didn’t take me long to realise that absolutely there was a movie in it – it’s a heart-warming, triumph-of-the-underdog story with a romantic-comedy element to it.”
Inspirational and offbeat, the core of Dream On is essentially a story about love and redemption, but with several clubs, plenty of fairways and a few thousand balls thrown into the mix – not to mention golfer Torrance, who has a cameo playing himself.
Dream On has attracted support from leading golf brand Callaway and sports betting company Paddy Power and hopes to become part of cinematic history.
Filming is taking place in the world renowned Elstree Studios where films such as Star Wars and, more recently, The King’s Speech were produced.
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