Adam Deacon, the BAFTA-winning star of British indie dramas “Kidulthood” and “Adulthood,” will take on his next directorial project with “Sumotherhood.”
Billed as an urban action comedy, the film sees Deacon reteaming with Michael Vu, with whom he collaborated on the 2011 film “Anuvahood” — his first turn in the director’s seat. Joining them for the new project is writing partner and comedy performer Jazzie Zonzolo.
“Sumotherhood” marks Deacon’s return to the industry after a number of years away. The British actor-rapper broke through in the 2006 drama “Kidulthood,” and went on to win BAFTA’s highly coveted Rising Star award in 2012, beating the likes of Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston. Early in his career, Deacon collaborated on several projects with actor-director Noel Clarke — who was recently subject to multiple sexual misconduct and bullying claims, all of which he denies — but went on to accuse Clarke of bullying and sabotaging his career in 2011. The high-profile feud eventually landed in court and led to Deacon’s arrest after he was charged with harassing Clarke. Along the way, Deacon — who was diagnosed as bipolar — has battled mental ill-health.
In light of The Guardian’s investigation into Clarke and subsequent allegations about misbehaviour on the set of “Doctor Who,” the British industry has viewed Deacon’s original bullying claims against Clarke in a different light.
“The last few years have been a turbulent time for me and it’s been tough to get my life back on track,” said Deacon. “After previously having a hit movie I thought it would be a lot easier to get my follow-up film made. Many false starts later we finally have a great team behind us and I am ready to create something new and fresh that hasn’t been seen before. My vision as a director has grown and matured over the past ten years and ‘Sumotherhood’ pushes the boundaries of what can be done. This will be the first British urban action comedy and we think it will be the perfect movie to get people back into cinemas and put a smile on their faces.”
“Sumotherhood” is produced by BIFA-nominated producer Finn Bruce (“Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break”) of Belstone Pictures, Deacon’s production company Deaconstructed and newly formed Piece of Pie Productions.
The film is executive produced by Kevin Bishop (“A Few Best Men”) and Robert Williams and Barry McNicholl of Piece of Pie Productions, who are also financing the movie. Principal photography is set to begin this October in London and Los Angeles for a worldwide release slated for 2022.
Casting is underway with Dan Hubbard (“Captain Phillips”) attached as the film’s casting director. The cast will feature some of the same actors who appeared in Deacon’s “Anuvahood,” including fellow writer Zonzolo, Richie Campbell (“Top Boy”) and comedian Eddie Kadi.
Producer Finn Bruce said: “I have followed Adam’s career for some time now, and am a big fan of his talent and creative vision. It’s an honor to produce his next film and we look forward to bringing this hilarious and action packed script to life with a plethora of established and new talent in front of and behind the camera.”
Piece of Pie Productions CEO Robert Williams added: “We are excited to launch our company with ‘Sumotherhood’ as the first film of our slate, capitalizing on the thirty years’ experience we have in film, television and theater. We are thrilled to be making our maiden voyage with Adam whose passion and commitment inspired us all from the very beginning.”
(Pictured, L-R: Jazzie Zonzolo, Adam Deacon, Richie Campbell)