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Last Updated: Monday, 19 July, 2004, 06:14 GMT 07:14 UK
'Huge star' for music icon film
Ian Curtis
Ian Curtis's fame lives on 24 years after his death
The producers of a film based on the story of Joy Division say a major star is considering playing the tragic role of lead singer Ian Curtis.

Curtis killed himself in 1980 just as the legendary and inspirational Manchester band were on the cusp of commercial success.

The as-yet untitled film is based on a book written by his widow, Deborah.

Producer Todd Eckart said: "We are speaking with an actor who is huge and who looks rather a lot like Ian."

He added: "He has just finished a couple of films in which the only thing he listened to was Joy Division and New Order [the band which the band mates formed after Curtis' death].

Todd Eckert, film producer
Todd Eckert says a major film star is considering playing the role

"Should this guy ultimately agree that he is going to play Ian, it would make it a much bigger film.

"Ian Curtis is one of the most important figures in the history of music."

Deborah Curtis's book, Touching From A Distance, paints a picture of her husband as a gifted but tortured man who was also prone to jealousy and manipulation.

He suffered from epilepsy, which caused problems when performing on stage with strobe lights, and hanged himself in 1980.

Manchester-based production

Former manager and friend, Factory Records boss Tony Wilson, said: "He was two people in that there was the very intense person.

"But also there was the character whose head poked out of a fourth storey window in London one night while the rest of his band were raining eggs and flower and water on me and my group.

"We were trying to get into a van door which they had jammed."

The producers of the film have said it will be a Manchester-based production.

The film will follow in the footsteps of 24 Hour Party People, which starred Steve Coogan as Tony Wilson and chronicled the history of Joy Division and Factory Records.

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