Steve Coogan is in line to star in a biopic of notorious publisher, nightclub owner and so-called King of Soho, Paul Raymond.
The project was unveiled over the weekend by Raymond’s biographer Paul Willetts at a talk in Westminster Reference Library and will be adapted from Willetts’ colourful book, Members Only: the Life and Times of Paul Raymond.
Tentatively titled Paul Raymond’s Wonderful World of Erotica, the film will reunite Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom, who have worked together in the past on 24 Hour Party People, A Cock and Bull Story and Bafta-winning TV series The Trip.
Raymond, who died a multimillionaire in 2008, worked variously as a spiv and a stage clairvoyant before making his fortune publishing top-shelf magazines like Razzle and Mayfair. Later in his life he invested in property, seemingly buying up nearly the whole of Soho, and opened infamous strip club The Raymond Revuebar. A showman as well as a pornographer, his motto was “nudity without crudity”.
Comedy producer John Fleming commented on his blog that “[Raymond] is a perfect movie subject – larger than life and with pretensions beyond his art.”
The film is expected to go into production in 2012.