This is the remarkable true story of a man so driven to win, not just once but hundreds and hundreds of times, that he puts his own life at risk. Fred Archer was a jockey – by some measures the most successful one who has ever lived. But this feature-length screenplay has been written to appeal to a much wider audience than just the world of horseracing. It focuses on Archer’s relationships during a crucial few years of his life, with his associates, his family, the owners and trainers, and even his rivals. And this fascinating and surprising tale of an almost-forgotten sporting hero has never before been told on film.
Director: Farren Blackburn
Written by: Stephen Hallett and Farren Blackburn
Producer: Alex Tosetti
Pitch: Le Mans 66’ meets Seabiscuit.
Format: Feature film. Drama biopic/true story/period romance.
“A great soldier, a great Statesman, a great poet even a great Royal Prince might die suddenly without givinghalf so general a shock as has been given by the news of the tragical death of Fred Archer. News of his death has come with a sense of shock and almost personal loss literally to millions.” The Times. 1886.
It is 1886. Sporting icon Fred Archer suffers fractured mental health, extreme weight loss and suffocating fame to become the greatest jockey to ever light up the racecourse but as he wins the hearts and minds of a nation his life dangerously unravels.
The late Victorian Era of the 1880’s is the high age of British power, grandeur and wealth. Newmarket, Suffolk becomes the epicentre of global horseracing. This sport is the nation’s rampant addiction. From the back-to-back slums to the finest royal palaces racing is bigger than Premier League football is today.
To the vast majority of the population horseracing represents everything. The thrill of the track unites the classes, all roaring for their chosen horse and jockey. They are the worshipped heroes of the age. It is here that a unique superstar, a true renegade emerges, triumphs and wins lasting immortality.
Fred Archer is a gentleman off the course yet an uncompromising, brutal competitor on it. His ferocious willto win and his incredible ability to ride a horse beyond its limits makes him champion jockey 13 years running. In his short career he rode an incredible 2748 wins, 246 of these victories coming in one record-breaking year.Archer is an unrivalled champion.
Fred is a man with staying power, fearless courage and a natural warmth that endeared him to the masses. He rose from being a shy, bullied stable boy to become a global name. This original tabloid star is ripe for dramatic exploration as an incredible yet flawed sporting great.
Fred’s seeming invincibility covered serious physical and mental health problems which gives us strong contemporary resonance. As his career reached new heights paranoia, delusions and psychosis overwhelmed him. We will be unflinching in depicting these hard-hitting issues, so relevant in our current times.
“The Tin Man” is not a film about horseracing but a pulsating, moving drama about a man who beat the odds yet paid a terrible price for victory. His body and mind implodes through the demands of winning and the tragic loss of his beloved wife in childbirth.
Racing will be used to create rousing action and thrilling jeopardy, but the film’s real heart is its study of corrosive fame and the human cost that bears. The film will be powerfully underpinned by an enduring, multifaceted love story that reverberates beyond death with a moving and uplifting impact. The intention is for the project to be accessible and strongly appealing to a wide-ranging, international audience.
What horsepower does a human truly possess when his body and soul are stripped to the core? Ajockey deemed far too tall to race competitively starves himself close to death so he can chase his dream. His strength of mind, powerful dedication and undying spirit makes Archer superhuman among his racing peers.
Despite wasting himself away, Fred is still able to shatter all known racing records. Wearing his iconic magpie colours, Fred’s triumphs bring him international acclaim. His incredible and inspiring victories make him a personal favourite of the Prince of Wales, the King in waiting.
Fred is soon beloved by all.
However, dominating the sport with such ferocity, while severely suppressing his weight carries a terrible price. We will draw powerful comparisons with modern-day sporting heroes combatting mental health problems such as current heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury. What does it feel like to carry the hopes, dreams and wagers of an entire nation every day you compete?
As Fred’s fame soars, he is struck with damaging allegations of cheating which sparked a reliance on medication, spiralling gambling addiction and reckless hedonism. Yet despite this darkness, the film is an incredibly moving, thought-provoking yet uplifting portrayal of a man who loved to ride and whose dedication to his sport remains arguably unmatched.
It is a true story.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE NEW DOCUMENTARY made by David Yates on the thirteen-time champion jockey Fred Archer, one of the giants of the turf, in which he explores the troubled history of The Tin Man.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE LIVE TV INTERVIEW with the great grandson of Fred Archer and Founder of ArchersUp Productions, Alex Tosetti and Grant Eustace.
To find out more about the film please contact Producer Alex Tosetti directly on: email@example.com