BBC ‘Storyville’ has acquired the UK TV rights to Orion: The Man Who Would Be King (pictured), Jeanie Finlay’s forthcoming doc about singer Jimmy Ellis, who shot to fame after the death of Elvis Presley in the late 1970s.
The film will tell the story of Ellis, a masked singer who became something of a phenomenon in 1978 owing to the similarity of his voice to Presley’s, coupled with rumors that he was, in fact, the late singer in disguise, back from the grave.
‘Storyville’ joins Creative England and Ffilm Cymru Wales, which are also supporting the project. Finlay’s latest comes on the back of her previous hit music docs, Sound It Out and The Great Hip Hop Hoax, and in April raised US$33,657 (on a target of $25,000) via crowdfunding site Indiegogo.
The BBC will air the film next year. Orion is being produced by Dewi Gregory and exec produced by Al Morrow, Andy Copping and Alexander Preston, with Charles Kennedy and Stewart Copeland serving as the associate producers.
In addition to the feature doc, the team is also making a wraparound interactive project called I Am Orion, developed as part of React Future Documentary Sandbox with 383 Project and academic partner Dr. Judith Aston.
Orion is one of two docs being produced by Finlay at present. The director is also at work on Pantomime, a documentary portrait of the longest-running and lowest-budgeted pantomime in Nottingham, England.
- Jeanie Finlay will be speaking on the ‘Behind the Curtain Part 2‘ panel session at Sheffield Doc/Fest on Wednesday, June 11.