Fulwell 73 Options Feature Rights for Leslie K. Barry novel Newark Minutemen

Based on a true story, the upcoming book covers the underground fight against the 1930s German-American Nazi Party and the Jewish boxers who went undercover for the mob and the FBI; Leo Pearlman to Executive Produce


London, UK, Sept. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Acclaimed independent production company Fulwell 73 (The Late Late Show with James Corden, Carpool Karaoke, Class of ‘92, I Am Bolt)  has optioned the feature film rights to Leslie K. Barry’s novel Newark Minutemen, which will be released in paperback by Morgan James Publishing on October 6, 2020. Fulwell 73’s Leo Pearlman led on the acquisition and will executive produce the feature film project, with John Niven and Nick Ball attached to write the screenplay.

Newark Minutemen is based on the incredible true story from the 1930s about a Jewish boxer who goes undercover for the mob and FBI to fight fascism in New Jersey during the Great Depression. It was a time when America remained complacent as Hitler spread racial hatred in Europe, and his fanatics could brashly goose-step down American streets waving twin Swastika and US flags, led by Fuhrer Fritz Kuhn. The Newark Minutemen were a band of Jewish boxers who rose up to fight this Nazi shadow party and, perhaps the greatest enemy of all, American complacency about this looming evil.

The novel is based on the real-life experiences of author Leslie K. Barry’s uncle, a Newark Minuteman boxer. The story was pieced together from first-hand accounts from Barry’s 93-year old mother and her cousin, FBI reports, boxes of undercover source material and years of research.

“Newark Minutemen is an epic story of battles, boxers and mafia, overlaid with an explosive love affair that compares with the classic star-crossed stories from Casablanca to Titanic,” said Leo Pearlman, Partner and Producer at Fulwell 73. “This would be an important story to tell at any time in history, but right now, with the lessons we can learn from the past, it is an essential one that everyone should see." 

When Barry was selling rights to the screenplay, she had been in discussions with various companies, but turned to Fulwell 73 because she and critically acclaimed producer Leo Pearlman connected on a familial level.

“When we were talking about the novel, Leo and I started sharing stories about our grandmothers and their plights in London and America,” said Leslie K. Barry, author of Newark Minutemen. “He understood the story and its importance on a level that made me trust his sensibility.”

Barry is a screenwriter, author and executive producer. Previous professional positions have included executive roles at Turner Broadcasting, Hasbro/Parker Brothers, Mattel, Mindscape Video Games, Lotus and AOL. She lives in Tiburon, CA.

Pearlman recently served as an executive producer on Fulwell 73 project Auschwitz Untold: In Colour, the acclaimed Channel 4 documentary which featured newly colourised footage taken in Nazi concentration camps alongside brand new testimony from Holocaust survivors.  

Niven is best known for his debut novel Kill Your Friends, which he subsequently adapted into a feature film for StudioCanal starring Nicholas Hoult. Niven also co-wrote How to Build a Girl with Caitlin Moran, a film based on Moran’s memoirs starring Beanie Feldstein. Niven and Ball have previously worked together as screenwriters on 2011 comedy action film Cat Run, starring Paz Vega. Niven and Ball are repped by Artists First.

Fulwell 73 is an international and award-winning film and TV production company who have been behind some of the most talked about non-scripted programmes of the last few years, from Carpool Karaoke to BAFTA-winning Bros: After The Screaming Stops and the upcoming Friends reunion. Now expanding further into the scripted space, Fulwell 73 is currently in production on a number of major projects including: motion picture Cinderella starring Camila Cabello; is set to start shooting on CW commissioned series Republic of Sarah in Montreal in the coming months and recently announced it has optioned the rights to Helen Cresswell’s beloved time-traveling novel Moondial to adapt into a new TV franchise scripted by Matt Lopez (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Race to Witch Mountain).

Read more about Leslie K. Barry’s novel Newark Minutemen here.

Facebook Newark Minutemen Twitter @NMinutemen

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For more information including interviews with Leslie K. Barry contact: owen@thoughtgangmedia.com

About Fulwell 73:

Fulwell 73 recently announced a multiplatform deal with Nickelodeon to produce an animated movie and TV series based on the children’s book Real Pigeons Fight Crime, and this Summer/Autumn is expected to resume production on studio feature film Cinderella for Sony Pictures, based on an original idea from James Corden, written and directed by Kay Cannon, starring Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel, Billy Porter, Pierce Brosnan and many more.

Fulwell 73’s television slate is extensive. As producer of multi Emmy and Critics Choice award winning, The Late Late Show with James Corden, with CBS Television Studios, Fulwell has dominated the digital space with over 7 billion views since their launch in 2015.

Other recent television productions include Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer and Jack Whitehall’s Sporting Nation for BBC, Quibi’s Cup of Joe, the hit documentary Bros: After the Screaming Stops for BBC, Drop the Mic for TBS, Sounds Like Friday Night for BBC1, Carpool Karaoke: The Series for Apple, Sunderland ‘Til I Die for Netflix, and the hit Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special for BBC One.

Fulwell 73, set up in 2005 by lifelong friends Ben Winston, Leo Pearlman, Ben Turner and Gabe Turner, produces and creates top-quality, commercial television, feature and digital productions. In March 2017 James Corden joined the company as a fifth full partner. 

The company first came to the public’s attention in September 2007 with the release of its debut feature In the Hands of the Gods (Lionsgate). The film received great critical acclaim, opened on more screens than any other UK-made documentary and appeared in cinemas around the world. 

Since then Fulwell’s theatrical film releases include: the most successful sports documentary of all time, The Class of 92 (Universal Pictures); the huge box office hits One Direction 3D: This is Us (Sony/Columbia), I Am Bolt (Universal) and critically acclaimed and award winning independent features such as The Guvnors (Metrodome). 

Fulwell 73 prides itself in making shows with some of the top music and sports talent in the world, making broadcast specials for Bruno Mars, Harry Styles, Sam Smith, and producing feature documentaries with the likes of David Beckham and Usain Bolt. Recent documentaries include Busby, about the legendary player and Manchester United manager Matt Busby, Hitsville: The Making of Motown and Auschwitz Untold: In Colour. Fulwell also produced Global Citizens live event from South Africa with Beyoncé, Jay Z and Oprah. They have also produced "Stand Up To Cancer" and will do so again this year.

 Fulwell 73 also creates compelling and widely seen short form content. From commercials for high profile brands including Keurig, Apple Music, Samsung, to new shows for digital platforms such as YouTube (Jack Whitehall’s Training Days) and Snapchat (The Emmy winning "James Corden’s Next James Corden”). Their music videos have won them 3 “video of the year” Brit awards and an MTV moonman. More info at Fullwell73.com.


Leslie K. Barry's novel Newark Minutemen will be released by Morgan James Publishing on October 6, 2020. "It's an epic story of battles, boxers and the mafia, overlaid with an explosive love affair that compares with the classic star-crossed stories from Casablanca to Titanic,” said Leo Pearlman, the producer who optioned the feature film rights with his company Fulwell 73. Leslie K. Barry's new book Newark Minutemen has been optioned by the acclaimed UK production company Fulwell 73. The novel is based on a true story about Jewish boxers in the 1930's who fought American Nazis. It will be released in paperback by Morgan James Publishing on October 6, 2020. Barry lives in Tiburon, CA.  Photo by Jocelyn Knight.

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