Retired UFC Middleweight Champion and Hall of Famer Michael Bisping (“xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” “Den of Thieves,” “Twin Peaks”) has landed the lead role in director Dax Phelan’s next feature film, “The Journeyman.”
Bisping will play Kenny “The Beast” Breen, an alcoholic, drug-abusing, past-his-prime journeyman boxer with a record of 11-85-0 who, after being diagnosed with neurological damage, continues his career on the small-hall circuit at grave risk to himself.
“For obvious reasons, Mike brings an authenticity and an X factor to the role that no other actor ever could,” Phelan said. “His contributions to the script have been insightful and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to explore this character with him.”
The film is based on the book, Journeymen, by British author Mark Turley, which made the long list for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2015. Phelan and Turley co-wrote the screenplay. Eric M. Klein (“Jasmine”) and Phelan are producing. Bisping and Turley will executive produce.
The film will shoot in the United Kingdom and the search for a UK producing partner is currently underway. Real-life journeyman boxer, Johnny Greaves, who retired in 2013, will serve as the film’s technical advisor.
A portion of the film’s proceeds will go to charitable organizations that help retired boxers who have fallen on hard times due to mental or physical health issues related to injuries sustained during their careers.
Bisping can currently be seen in Season 2 of Cinemax’s “Warrior” and in the upcoming documentary, “Bisping,” which explores his decade-long career from winning Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter” (Season 3) to becoming the UFC’s first British Champion.
Phelan recently executive produced Andrew Stanley’s feature directorial debut, “Flowers of the Field,” with Lodge Kerrigan (Starz’s “The Girlfriend Experience”). The film won the Barry Avrich Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Bisping is repped by Michael Staudt at The Gersh Agency.