Hollyoaks producer Lime Pictures has optioned the story of Madchester era clothing brand Gio Goi and is developing a 90s “period drama” based on the book.

Executive Producer Louise Sutton has optioned Still Breathing: The True Adventures Of The Donnelly Brothers by Christopher and Anthony Donnelly and Simon Spence. Still Breathing charts the Donnellys’ journey from allegedly criminal beginnings to global success with their brand worn by the likes of New Order and The Stone Roses. It’s billed as a “rags to riches story, Still Breathing is about a fashion brand, the two brothers behind it that make Liam and Noel look like Sooty and Sweep, and the decadence and dangers of Manchester in the 1990s. A decade that made Britain the country it is today.”

Said Sutton: “At Lime, we want to tell the stories from people from the margins of society, stories that have been neglected or ignored, and stories about people we think we know about when, in fact, we hardly know anything at all. In these stories, there’s resonance and relevance for everyone because, ultimately, they’re about the indefatigability of the human spirit. Even if they’re about characters who set out to change the world and fail, the characters end up changing themselves – and that’s the most wonderful of all stories to tell. Whenever these stories are set, whatever they’re about, they’re really stories about hope.

“For me, Still Breathing is a timeless story. Of course it explores and is immersed in the spirit of the 1990s, but it’s a story about family, about growing up, about making your way in a hostile world, and it’s about believing in yourself despite the naysayers. And it’s also a story about how, sometimes, we can be our own worst enemies.”

Sutton was appointed Executive Producer in June 2018. Having previously worked on Coronation Street, Dumping Ground and Midsomer Murders, Sutton won an Emmy in September 2018 for producing Black Mirror: USS Callister. She also produced Butterfly, the drama about a transgender child for ITV.

The script will be written by Simon Spence, who co-wrote the book with the Donnellys.

Anthony Donnelly said “Christopher and I are ecstatic to be working with Simon again on this adaption of our book. Lime Pictures and Louise Sutton are the perfect team to help bring our story to life on screen. It’s gonna be a huge musical and fashion tornado as well as a wild rock and roll, drug-fuelled violent fiasco with some extraordinary emotional moments. This is Peaky Blinders, in 1990’s Manchester”.

Staff Reporter

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