The life of steeplejack Fred Dibnah is to be turned into a blockbuster movie.
Plans for the film are still being drawn up, but a website has been launched in a bid to attract the necessary funding from the film industry.
The project is still in the early stages, which means that no decision has been made about who will play Fred, who lost his battle with cancer in November, 2004.
Those behind the project are hoping to replicate the success of recent biopics The Damned United, which told the story of football manager Brian Clough’s ill-fated spell at Leeds United, and An Education, based on journalist Lynn Barber’s memoirs.
Congleton-based filmmaker Ian Williamson said: “After the recent success of British-made films such as The Damned United and An Education, we are hoping to make Fred Dibnah The Movie the UK’s next potential blockbuster.
“Fred was an extraordinary character who remained totally untouched by his national celebrity status.
“He was a down-to-earth working man who made everyone he ever met feel like they had known him for years.”
Mr Williamson is also hoping the project will raise funds for Cancer Research UK.
Fred’s widow Sheila, who conducts talks around the country about her late husband’s work, has backed the idea in principle.
She said: “I don’t know anything about this particular project, but anything that keeps Fred’s name alive in a positive fashion has to be a good thing.
“I will be curious to see who plays Fred in the film and I am not sure what he’d have thought about all this attention.”
This year looks set to be a busy one for Fred’s legions of fans.
Last month, Leon Powsney was granted permission by Bolton Council to turn Fred’s former home in Radcliffe Road into a museum and heritage centre, which he hopes to have open by April 28 — the birthday he and Fred shared.
To find out more about the film log on to freddibnahthemovie.co.uk (ed:link fixed) or to donate to the film’s Cancer Research UK appeal, visit justgiving.com/ freddibnahthemovie.