The director of British comedy Walk Like A Panther has said he wanted to highlight pub closures across the country with the wrestling themed film.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels film maker Dan Cadan initially intended for the movie to be a TV show before being convinced it was worthy of the bigger screen.
Speaking at the film’s premiere in Manchester on Tuesday night, Cadan told the Press Association: “To be honest halfway through shooting the short version Steve Graham kept coming up to me going ‘no Dan this is a movie all day long mate’.
“And I didn’t think there was (a movie) because I didn’t know what the hook was … we had a band of wrestlers getting up to antics each day but where’s the hook?
“And the hook ended up being pub closures and highlighting that plight.”
The film follows a retired group of wrestlers putting on one last show to to save a Yorkshire pub from closing.
Graham is joined in the film by Cadan’s wife and Game of Thrones star Lena Headey, I, Daniel Blake actor Dave Johns, soap star Jill Halfpenny and The Killing Fields’ Julian Sands.
Cadan praised the ensemble cast’s work rate and joked Tom Cruise should “watch out” for 62-year-old Johns.
He said: “Those guys were unbelievable. They gave everything but they wanted to as well. I know deep down that one of them didn’t want to look as bad as the other one which is why they gave their all.”
– Walk Like A Panther is out March 9.