“We decided to crowdfund this project because it gives Nick’s fans an opportunity to show their support for the project from the beginning and stay engaged throughout the filmmaking process,” said producer Howard Burd. “I love to bring inspirational stories to the big screen; it’s why I got into this business. Nick’s story struck a chord with me from the beginning. His tenacity and determination were unbelievable for such a brutal sport.”
The campaign, which launched Tuesday, has a $100,000 goal. Burd is teamed with veteran martial arts movie producer Mark DiSalle (“Bloodsport,” “Kickboxer,” “The Perfect Weapon”). The duo recently produced “4 Minute Mile” and the romantic comedy “Mothers Day,” Garry Marshall’s final film.
“Notorious Nick” will tell the underdog story of Newell, MMA’s XFC Champion fighter who overcame the odds as a congenital amputee. He announced his retirement following his last championship fight in October 2015, with a 13-1 record.
The script for “Notorious Nick” was written by the “10 Cloverfield Lane” team of Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken with Darrin Reed writing the latest version of the screenplay.
Newell became an unexpected force in the sport who found his biggest challenge was finding fights since fighters didn’t want to be seen as losing to or even beating a fighter with one hand.
“I’ve been involved in the martial arts world for more than 30 years,” DiSalle said. “There are a lot of tough competitors in the sport and as many great stories but Nick’s stood out because of how he turned his unique challenge into his secret weapon. He was lucky to have valuable mentors shaping that mindset even when he was still a child. His inspirational story needs to be shared with the world.”
The Indiegogo campaign will run for 30 days, coinciding the anniversary of Newell’s last championship win. The campaign perks include five associate producer credits for $5,000 each and five actual acting roles in the movie for $10,000 each.