Variety has unveiled the first image from Blinder Films and director Kieron J. Walsh’s new Irish/Belgian/Luxembourg co-production The Racer.
The Racer is a cycling movie, written by Walsh and Ciaran Cassidy, centered around the 1998 Tour de France, which had its first three stages take place in Ireland. The film’s cast is led Louis Talpe (Of Kings and Prophets), with support from Tara Lee (A Date for Mad Mary), Matteo Simoni (Gangsta), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), and Karel Roden (The Bourne Supremacy).
Summer 1998 – the opening stages of Le Tour de France are relocated to Ireland. Belgian rider Dom Chabol (late 30s) has been one of the best “Domestiques” (support riders) on the Tour for the last 20 years. It’s a sacrificial role – setting pace, blocking wind, and providing support to enable the team’s sprinter to victory – winning is not an option. But Dom secretly harbours a desire to wear the yellow jersey – just once before his career is over.
At the start of what will likely be his last Tour, Dom is unceremoniously dropped from the Team he has dedicated his life to. His best mate Sonny, the team masseur, fails to reassure him about his future. But a chance liaison with Lynn, a young Irish doctor, softens the blow, and Dom starts to accept – and even enjoy – the idea of civilian life. But as he gears up to go home and to face his estranged sister, a massive doping error knocks another teammate off the Tour and Dom is thrown back in the saddle…
Filming took place in Ireland and Luxembourg in June and July. The Racer is produced by Yvonne Donohoe and Katie Holly for Blinder Films, with co-producers Jesus Gonzalez-Elvira for Calach Films, and Nicolas Blondeau and Robin Kerremans for Caviar Films. Funding comes via Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland, Film Fund Luxembourg, Eurimages, Screen Flanders, the BAI Sound & Vision Fund, and RTÉ.
Kinepolis Film Distribution (KFD) will release The Racer in the Benelux countries, with Independent handling international sales.