In conversation with British Actor Billy Murray & Film producer Jonathan Sothcott from the UK Crime Thriller movie — “Nemesis”
An underworld kingpin, John Morgan (Billy Murray), returns to London, triggering a cataclysm of violence, retribution, and murder!
This week on The Entertainment Engine podcast we welcome our special guest's iconic British actor Billy Murray & Film producer Jonathan Sothcott to the show.
The movie Nemesis, the morally ambiguous crime thriller that marks the debut of disruptive indie Shogun Films, has been acquired for US release by Samuel Goldwyn Films during the European Film Market in Berlin.
SHOGUN FILMS’ DEBUT ‘NEMESIS’ GOES TO SAMUEL GOLDWYN FILMS FOR USA
Nemesis, written by Adam Stephen Kelly, is the story of underworld kingpin John Morgan whose return to London triggers a violent series of events as his murky past catches up with him.
So this week we caught up with the lead actor Billy Murray & the movie’s producer Jonathan Sothcott, for a chat in the midst of the movie promotion just released on DVD and streaming channels including Apple TV & Amazon…
Murray’s Early Life:
Billy Murray is an English actor, best known for playing Don Beech in The Bill from 1995 to 2004, Johnny Allen in the BBC soap opera EastEnders from 2005 to 2006, and Captain John Price in the video games Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
Murray attended St. Edward’s Catholic Primary and St Bonaventure’s Catholic School. After leaving school, Murray worked at a Co-Op supermarket in Canning Town and boxed at the Reggie and Ronnie Kray-owned West Ham Boxing Club for 12 years.
The Kray twins paid £400 for him to go to East 15 Acting School as a teenager because they “liked his attitude”. They never asked for the money back.
“Murray remains the go-to guy for big screen gangsters” RadioTimes
Murray made his acting debut in the 1963 film Two Left Feet where he played a minor uncredited role. This was followed by small roles in the films Poor Cow (1967), Corruption (1968), Up the Junction (1968), and Performance (shot 1968, released 1971).
In 2001 he reprised the role in a special spin-off episode entitled “Beech on the Run”. This was followed by the six-part mini-series Beech is Back.
In 2004 he made his final appearance as Beech for a guest stint in five episodes, in which his character escaped from prison and is now back ‘on the run’. Before playing Don Beech in the series, Murray played a different character, DI Jackson, in an episode in 1989.
Nemesis “The most anticipated home invasion movie of 2021” Daily Mirror
This was Murray’s second role within the series, as he previously appeared as loan shark Mr. X from just two episodes in 1991.
Murray’s character as Johnny Allen made his first appearance on 4 January 2005, and became the show’s main antagonist upon terrorizing numerous characters on the program — including sworn enemy Peggy Mitchell; her sons Phil Mitchell and Grant Mitchell; their cousin Billy Mitchell, whom Johnny initially employed in his criminal empire; Phil and Grant’s ex-lover Sharon Watts; her godmother Pauline Fowler; his daughter’s best friend Stacey Slater; and even his own henchman Jake Moon.
Since leaving the show Murray has become one of the most credible Executive Producers in the film industry, universally recognized as a safe pair of hands in a precarious industry, and has been behind films such as RISE OF THE FOOTSOLDIER, DOGHOUSE, and THE RISE & FALL OF A WHITE COLLAR HOOLIGAN, often in collaboration with his close friend Jonathan Sothcott.
Early Life for Sothcott:
Jonathan Sothcott left school and worked as a film journalist and produced documentaries for the burgeoning DVD industry, working with British film icons including Sir Roger Moore, Ken Russell, Bryan Forbes, and Euan Lloyd, about whom he made an acclaimed documentary, The Last of the Gentleman Producers.
By the age of 24, Jonathan was the youngest Television Executive in the UK, setting up and launching The Horror Channel in 2004, where he was Head of Programming.
Moving into the film producer he began his long collaboration with Martin Kemp with the short film Karma Magnet starring Gary Kemp. Jonathan and Martin have worked together half a dozen times since on films such as Top Dog for Universal Pictures and Age of Kill for Starz.
Jonathan has worked with a galaxy of stars including Mark Hamill, Jason Statham, Richard E Grant, Sheridan Smith, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Ray Winstone, Steven Berkoff, Rik Mayall, Charlie Cox, Eve Myles, Freema Agyeman, Craig Fairbrass, and BAFTA nominees Phil Davis and Kierston Wareing.
“A film producer behind a whole new generation of on-screen hard men” — GQ
His 2013 film Vendetta starring Danny Dyer was the most successful independent British film of the year and gave Dyer his best role in years. Jonathan subsequently co-wrote a book entitled The Film of Danny Dyer with GQ journalist James Mullinger which was described by The Telegraph as “strangely delightful.”
In 2014 Jonathan negotiated a landmark international co-production deal with American studio Starz to make 4 films per year for them.
To listen more to the conversation with Jonathan & Billy click on the link below;
The films included the cult classics We Still Kill The Old Way and We Still Steal The Old Way. His film The Krays — Dead Man Walking was the biggest non-theatrical UK indie film of 2018, outselling the likes of Black Panther and Ready Player One on its first week of release.
In 2020 Jonathan set up Shogun Films to focus on high concept genre films for the international market.
Shogun Films is a disruptive independent production company headquartered in London — but with a global reach — which is dedicated to making outstanding, high-octane, filmmaker-driven commercial movies in the action/thriller/crime space.
The company was founded by producer/actress Jeanine Nerissa Sothcott and industry veteran Jonathan Sothcott.
“Jonathan Sothcott is carving out a niche as one of the most prolific producers of British action movies” — The Hollywood Reporter
The company’s philosophy is to give audiences what they want, making world-class films using the very best talent and facilities the UK has to offer.
The next movie coming from Shogun is a film called “Renegades” which is now in production;
When a retired Green Beret soldier is murdered by an Albanian drug gang, four of his veteran comrades set out to avenge him, dispensing their own brand of justice on the streets of London.
It looks like Shogun films are building an interesting slate of movies, with the first just out of the gate — “Nemesis”, which you can stream and buy the DVD at all supermarkets NOW, you can also purchase the title song “Nemesis” which is available on all streaming platforms; Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, Tidal, plus many more.
Nemesis theme song hit №1 on the iTunes Soundtrack Chart.
I certainly love a good gangster movie and looking forward to seeing this one in the comfort of my sofa, a big bag of crisps, and a beer of course!
By Peter Moore