Edwin Boyd pic to star Scott Speedman

Producer Allison Black and director Nathan Morlando of Euclid 431 Pictures will next week start the cameras rolling on Edwin Boyd, with Scott Speedman (Barney's Version, The Strangers) in the title role.
Scott Speedman

Gentleman bank robber Edwin Boyd is getting his close up.

Producer Allison Black and director Nathan Morlando of Euclid 431 Pictures will next week start the cameras rolling on Edwin Boyd, with Scott Speedman (pictured, Barney’s Version, The Strangers) in the title role of the true-life Second World War vet and family man turned swashbuckling Toronto stick-up man.

Morlando and Black hope to win over Canadian cinema-going audiences with their biopic the way Edwin Boyd knocked over banks and dominated Toronto’s 1950s underworld.

“The film is psychological study about [Boyd]. It’s guided by the facts of his life, and some of the big actions and consequences, that he robbed a number of banks, and twice escaped from jail,” Morlando told Playback Daily.

“But the heart of the film is a psychological study, and it’s a real personal story and it’s pretty much a love story,” he added.

Edwin Boyd will also star Kelly Reilly, Kevin Durand, Charlotte Sullivan, Brendan Fletcher and Brian Cox.

The film will be shot entirely in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario from February 17.

Executive producer Kirk D’Amico of Myriad Pictures, who also holds the international rights to the film, will be shopping Edwin Boyd at the European Film Market in Berlin.

Daniel Iron of Foundry Films is also executive producing.

Entertainment One will distribute the film in Canada after a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, the producers hope.

Morlando worked for 12 years on the film script for Edwin Boyd, starting after he made contact with the famed bank robber after he went legit and before his death in 2002.

The director, eager to explore Boyd’s motivation, insisted one of Toronto’s most notorious post-war criminals was far more multi-layered than the tabloid media let on.

The son of a Toronto police officer, Boyd left home early to ride the rails during the Depression, and got in trouble with the law before enlisting during World War II to fight overseas.

Post-war, Boyd returned to Toronto and his wife and family, only to become disillusioned with a job as a street car driver.

Ultimately, bank-robbing beckoned, not least to feed Boyd’s apparent need for attention and fame.

“Another (movie) theme is the role of media in our lives, and the relationship we have with the media,” Morlando explained.

“I saw [Boyd] as one of the first people to be manipulated by the media, and someone manipulating the media himself,” he added.

Producer Allison Black sees Speedman and his own charisma as perfect to play the gentleman bandit.

“What Scott embodies is an instinctive charm and underlying edge. That’s what Scott has and has been able to reveal as an actor,” she explained.

“Eddie was a hugely charming man, and Scott is one of the most charming men I’ve ever met,” Morlando added.

Besides Edwin Boyd, Euclid 431 Pictures is also at work on the political thriller The Lion’s Share, the detective thriller The Devil is Black, set against the backdrop of early rock ‘n roll in 1950′s America, and Celia, a romantic comedy.