West End “Phantom” will challenge police corruption in new film role

Photograph by Matt Hollyoak

Ramin Karimloo,  one of London West End’s best known musical theatre stars, is to take the lead role in a new film playing a mild-mannered teacher forced to confront the seedy underworld of a Quebec town to rescue his kidnapped daughter.

The award-winning Iranian-born Canadian star of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera  is currently playing the same role in its sequel, Love Never Dies,  and will also lead in next year’s stage production of Houdini. Ramin’s previous film experience includes playing Christine’s father in Joel Schumacher’s blockbuster production of The Phantom of the Opera.

Chris Hastings, CEO of 1066 Productions,  the British half of the UK-Canadian coproduction of Bad Town, said they were excited to announce that Ramin would be taking on the role of Daniel Girard. The $2.5 million dark thriller set in the fictional Canadian town of Villemauvais (Bad Town) shoots in Quebec in 2012. The film, inspired by Polanski’s Frantic 6 and Cronenberg’s A History of Violence,  follows Daniel’s struggles as a non-French speaking intruder desperately searching for his teenage daughter, Molly, in the French-speaking, crime-ridden, closed community.

“Although Ramin is highly acclaimed as a musical stage star, we believe he is perfect for this role, and it will be a fascinating challenge for him, giving audiences a unique insight into the much wider range of his considerable talent,” said Hastings.

Brief outline – The inhabitants of Villemauvais have a saying: nothing stays pure in Bad Town. In 15 years, Daniel Girard hasn’t once set foot in that place he once called home. The painfully cautious English teacher still bears the childhood scars of his father’s violent suicide. But when Molly, the teenage daughter he left behind vanishes, Daniel is forced to confront the seedy underbelly of a town to which he vowed never to return. He finds the place more dissolute and malignant than in his darkest memories, a town where his daughter’s disappearance raises little concern and the cops are hardly discernible from the crooks. With no one he can trust, Daniel must uncover the truth about his daughter’s abduction and atone for his own sins if he wants any chance of escape from the purgatory of Villemauvais.

Combining both Canadian and French-Canadian dialogue and characters, Bad Town hopes to emulate the success of Bon Cop Bad Cop,  a film released with different subtitled versions for both Anglophones and Francophones. Bon Cop Bad Cop is one of the most successful Canadian films in the history of the Canadian box office, having made over $13m despite not receiving a theatrical release outside of Canada. Bad Town has recently completed development and is now raising finance for full production.