Exclusive: Manic Street Preachers disown new Richey Edwards biopic

The band have "nothing to do with" director Lindey Heymann's film

Manic Street Preachers have told NME they are not involved with a forthcoming biopic about their missing guitarist Richey Edwards.

The guitarist has been missing since 1995, and his life is to be the subject of a new film, 4Real.

Directed by Lindy Heymann, the movie is due to begin shooting next year.

But the band’s spokeswoman told NME: “The band have nothing to do with this film, and nothing to say about it.”

Heymann is mainly known for directing music videos, having worked with Paul McCartney, Suede and The Specials.

Her first film Showboy was a documentary about a film producer trying to become a dancer in Las Vegas after getting fired. She also recently directed short film The Laughing King, about male suicide.

Although the Manics aren’t involved, 4Real has the backing of Creative England. The film is named after a famous incident in 1991, when Edwards carved the phrase “4Real” into his arm after he was asked by then-NME journalist Steve Lamacq about how genuine the Manics’ music was.

Speaking about 4Real, Heymann told Montsebru: “I have two films in the pipeline. One is 4Real, a portrait of Richey Edwards from Manic Street Preachers, which we hope to shoot next year. The other is Rum Doxy Diver, a romantic adventure which tells the tale of Grace Hammer – a feisty pickpocket – set in Victorian England.”

No casting details for 4Real have been announced.

Edwards was declared dead in 2008, having been missing since his car was abandoned in February 1995 near the Severn Bridge in Wales on the eve of a promotional tour to the US.

The Severn Bridge is a known suicide spot, and it has been generally assumed that Edwards died by suicide. However, a book published in January, Withdrawn Traces, says new evidence suggests Edwards may have staged his disappearance. 

The book – the first to be written with the co-operation of Edwards’ sister Rachel Elias – says sightings of Edwards on a kibbutz in Israel may well be genuine. He had apparently become fascinated with being a recluse.