British-born Eurasian actor Mayling Ng (“Wonder Woman,” “The Scorpion King: Book of Souls”) will star opposite retired UFC Middleweight Champion and Hall of Famer Michael Bisping (“xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” “Den of Thieves”) in director Dax Phelan’s boxing film, “The Journeyman.”
Set in Nortwest England, the story is about Kenny “The Beast” Breen (Bisping), an alcoholic, drug-abusing, past-his-prime journeyman boxer who, after being diagnosed with neurological damage, continues his career on the small-hall circuit at grave risk to himself and lands a fight with his former rival who’s gone on to become a star in the division. Ng will play Alina, a woman struggling to start her life over after escaping an abusive relationship, who becomes romantically involved with the boxer.
The screenplay was co-written by Phelan and British author Mark Turley, based on Turley’s book, Journeymen: The Other Side of the Boxing Business, a New Perspective on the Noble Art. The book made the long list for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2015.
“Mayling and I have been wanting to work together for years,” Phelan said. “So, when the opportunity to write a female character from Liverpool arose, Mark and I wrote the part especially for Mayling, who was born there, anxious to show off sides of her talent that audiences haven’t seen yet.”
“Dax and Mark have written a beautiful character who’s as vulnerable as she is strong,” Ng said, “and I can’t wait to explore her many facets with [Bisping] on screen.”
Prior to her breakout role as Orana in “Wonder Woman” and relocation to Los Angeles, Ng was an Asia-based champion fitness competitor representing Singapore and earned a black belt in Shaolin Kung Fu before turning to acting after landing the role of the heavy in 2016’s “Lady Bloodfight.”
Phelan is producing the film with Eric M. Klein (“Jasmine”). Benjamin Cheek, Bisping, and Turley are executive producing. Real-life journeyman boxer, Johnny Greaves, who retired in 2013, will serve as the film’s technical advisor.
The film is expected to shoot in Manchester, England in the fall and the search for a UK producing partner is in progress.
A portion of the film’s proceeds will go to charitable organizations that help retired boxers who have fallen on hard times due to mental or physical health issues related to injuries sustained during their careers.
Ng can next be seen in the role of Mongal in James Gunn’s upcoming “The Suicide Squad,” which premieres on August 6, 2021.
Phelan recently co-produced Orson Welles’s final film, “The Other Side of the Wind,” for Netflix.
Ng is repped by Eric Kind at Brave Artists Management. Bisping is repped by Mike Staudt at The Gersh Agency.