A major movie about former Big Issue seller James Bowen and his ginger cat Bob will start filming this October.
Rising British actor Luke Treadaway is set to play James, whose books about how a stray ginger cat helped him out of homelessness and drug addiction have sold more than 4 million copies worldwide.
Variety reports that the film version of Bowen’s first book, A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life, is due to shoot in the UK this October.
Tomorrow Never Dies director Roger Spottiswoode will work from a screenplay by British writer Tim John. Spooks: Code 9 actor Ruta Gedmintas will also feature in the film.
James and Bob’s story has captured the public imagination and shone a light on the hard work of street paper vendors.
Back in 2007, James was a recovering heroin addict. He found an injured cat curled up on a step in Tottenham, north London and used the last money he had to get the cat veterinary care from the RSPCA.
Through nursing the cat back to health, James also turned a corner.
“The day I met Bob my life changed forever. I was no longer invisible. People not only stopped and bought a copy of The Big Issue from me but often stopped to talk to me,” James told The Big Issue.
Bob’s loyalty – sitting on James’ shoulder as he sold the street paper – led to the pair becoming a local attraction and James went on to tell their story in his hit book, A Street Cat Named Bob.
When Bob featured on the cover of The Big Issue it was a massive success with fans from around the world buying copies.
James, with Bob at his side, has continued to be an advocate for The Big Issue and the power of street papers.
“One of the best things in my life now is that I can help people (and animals) who are still voiceless – and invisible – to be heard and seen,” he added. “It makes me proud that the book has opened people’s eyes to how The Big Issue works. That selling The Big Issue is an actual job!”
Casting has not yet been announced for celebrity cat Bob.