January 10, 2013 3:13am PT by Stuart Kemp
Cult East London Crime Novel 'Top Dog' to Hit Big Screen (Exclusive)
LONDON – U.K. producer Jonathan Sothcott's production banner Richwater Films has inked a deal for movie adaptation rights to Dougie Brimson’s crime novel Top Dog.
Brimson, who co-wrote the soccer-hooligan movie Green Street, is adapting his novel into a screenplay.
Sothcott and Brimson are eyeing a summer shoot, with Green Street star Leo Gregory lined up to play the lead.
Gregory will play London villain Billy Evans, who bites off more than he can chew when he crosses a more dangerous criminal gang.
Sothcott said he was "thrilled to be working" with Brimson, describing his book as "un-put-downable."
Added Sothcott: "This is British crime cinema on an epic scale," pitching it as The Long Good Friday meets Rise of the Footsoldier.
Brimson noted it has taken a "long time" to get Top Dog to the screen, and "much of that delay has been due to the fact that I’ve never been totally comfortable with the people wanting to make it."
Brimson and Gregory are attached to the film as co-producers.
Sothcott, whose résumé boasts British low-budget genre thrillers White Collar Hooligan and Fall of the Essex Boys, launched Richwater Films at the start of 2013, and its first movie, the London vigilante actioner Vendetta, will be out Feb. 8.