America has Hugh Hefner and (shudder) Larry Flynt. But when it came to soft-core publications, the Brits often turned to Paul Raymond, publisher of such skin magazines as Men Only, Escort, Club International and Mayfair. Though he passed away in March 2008, Raymond’s relatives have been fighting to tell the man’s story on film – and running into various obstacles. One might have cleared, though, now that Avengers and War Horse star Tom Hiddleston has agreed to play Raymond on screen in a planned biopic.
The news is part of a blind item in the UK Daily Mail (which means we should take it with a grain of salt), but Raymond’s own son, Howard, confirms that Hiddleston has agreed to play the main part in the film. The biopic will be based on the book The King of Soho, a nickname Raymond acquired because of all the property he snatched up in the ritzy London neighborhood.
The Daily Mail says Raymond has been battling with producers of a rival biopic, which has led to several delays in getting his own film off the ground. But casting Hiddleston has to be a solid first step toward reaching theaters.
It’s also a bold step for Hiddleston, who drastically expanded his audience base with a part in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and, of course, his villainous role as Loki in various Marvel Studios films. He’s an excellent actor, and we have no doubt he’ll crush the part of Paul Raymond. But we want to see him back in the tights for Thor 2 and possibly the Avengers sequel soon after.
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