Brian Helgeland reveals how Led Zeppelin inspired him to make Krays' movie Legend
Director Brian Helgeland has revealed that a trip to interview Led Zeppelin actually inspired him to begin researching into the life of Ronnie and Reggie Kray, research that would become the basis for his movie Legend.
Speaking about the movie Helgeland told hmv.com in an interview that will be published in full when the film is released on DVD that a trip to meet Jimmy Page and Robert Plant with the promise of writing a Zeppelin biopic introduced him to the world of the Krays.
He said: "Warner Brothers had wanted me to make a Led Zeppelin biopic and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were on tour and they sent me to interview them and to maybe write a script. It didn’t work out because they were at odds with each other, but there was a member of their entourage, an older guy from the East End, he was missing a finger. I asked him what had happened to it and he said The Krays had taken it."
He continued: "I had no idea what that was, I thought it was some kind of animal. I didn’t know what a Kray was, but he told me about it and how in the music business in the 60s they were shaking down clubs and he’d refused to pay them and they’d cut his finger off. It turned out subsequently he’d made the whole thing up, but it certainly made me want to read up on them.”
The movie, which also stars Emily Browning, Paul Bettany, David Thelwis and Christopher Eccleston, has been written and directed by Helgeland, best known as the writer of L.A. Confidential and Man On Fire.
It follows the Kray twins, Ronnie Kray and Reggie Kray, who are perhaps still the UK's most notorious gangsters, throughout the 1960s, during their rise to become Kings of the London underworld and their subsequent downfall in the years that followed.
It is in cinemas now and will be released on DVD later this year.