Benedict Cumberbatch is to star in Gypsy Boy, a movie based on Mikey Walsh’s memoirs growing up in the Romany/gypsy community in the 80s and 90s.
It is likely to draw controversy as the word “gypsy” is considered an ethnic slur. It might be noted that in the UK especially, the word is not always used in that fashion, often claimed by the Romani community, and shows such as Big Fat Gypsy Wedding have aired recently on Channel 4 – albeit it not without controversy. But the title of the movie – and the books – is a reference to the name the lead character was called by non-Romani as a definite insult growing up. So it is, if nothing else, aware of the offense in the title.
Others are also objecting the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as the bare-knuckles Romani fighter Frank Walsh and father of gay activist Mikey Walsh, but not being of Romani background.
Morgan Matthews will direct the adaptation written by James Graham and is intended to film next summer. BBC Films has financed the production.