Guy Martin takes it to the edge for big screen thrills and spills
They'll be handing out crash helmets with the 3D glasses at cinemas next week.
Northern Ireland's favourite biker Guy Martin is set to do for road racing what he's already done for canal boating with another on-screen hit guaranteed to hook a whole new audience along with the converted.
Madcap Lincolnshire rider Guy (29) is the undoubted star of a new high-octane fly-on-the-wall film set to go on general release called TT3D: Closer To The Edge, based on his bid to win last year's Isle of Man TT.
His big-screen debut follows the huge ratings success of his off-beat BBC2 series The Boat That Guy Built.
Guy also built up a cult following for his weird and wonderful adventures as he and a pal attempt to restore a washed-up old narrowboat to its former glory, using inventions from the Industrial Revolution — cracking fun.
But if that was sedate Sunday evening armchair viewing, Closer To The Edge will have cinema-goers on the edge of their seats as he swaps the leisurely canal boat for Superbike speeds up to 200mph between the Isle of Man hedges.
The up close and personal 3D effects add to the thrills of the racing. You could almost be on the bikes.
Without giving away the ending, it promises to be a box office smash.
The movie premieres at a Belfast Film Festival sellout tonight before going on UK-wide general release next Friday.
It's perfectly timed with this June's TT race programme being
launched on Tuesday and the clock ticking down to the May 21 North West 200 where Guy will compete for the Moneymore-based TAS Relentless Suzuki team.
He was at Kirkistown yesterday testing his bikes for the new season.
Local aces Ryan Farquhar and Michael Dunlop also feature in the film alongside a who's who of road racing star names including Ian Hutchinson, John McGuinness, Bruce Anstey, Cameron Donald, Conor Cummins and Keith Amor, all instantly recognisable to fans here.
Yorkshire rider Hutchinson rewrote the TT history books last year, winning all five solo races (another clue to the storyline).
But he admits: “I do my talking on the bike . . . Guy's the one who steals the show.”
With his trademark sideburns, Guy is the main focus of the film, as he pushes himself to the limit in pursuit of his first TT title.
For those who don't know him, he was born to be a biker . . . a totally off-the-wall, likeable maverick character who talks as fast as the bikes he rides. He even admits: “I'm one short of a six-pack. For anyone who rides in the TT, you've got to say the lights are on but no-one's home.”
He's not that daft, though. His new screen career is estimated to have raked in six-figure earnings and he hasn't even raced a bike competitively yet this year.
The camera loves him and so do audiences, even if they're not interested in boats or bikes.
No wonder the movie-makers zoomed in on Guy. They couldn't go wrong, especially with such a powerful supporting cast as his fellow riders and their machines at full throttle, in spectacular 3D.
But producer Richard de Aragues insisted: “You don't just shoot in 3D for effect. The story has to come first. It's got to be a story that moves you, it has to have high emotion and it's got to be fantastically dramatic. This film's got all that with the edge that it's a life or death sport.”
Narrated by Hollywood star Jared Leto, of 30 Seconds To Mars fame, it could be the cinematic hit of the summer.
lSee it from Friday, April 22 at Storm, Belfast, Ritz, Cookstown, Omniplexes Lisburn and Dundonald with special previews on Wednesday and Thursday.