Drama - Development 2020

When an ageing ice hockey player is told he has to retire it seems like a death sentence until an unlikely romance inspires him to fight for his life.

    • Year of production
    • 2020
    • Genres
    • Drama, Comedy, Romance
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Director(s)
    • Kerry SKINNER
    • Writer(s)
    • Stewart ALEXANDER
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • Body Checks is a mainstream romantic comedy set among the players, staff and fans of a professional ice hockey team in the UK.

      Canadian team captain, Dan “The Duke” Chorneyko was at the top of his game, playing NHL Ice hockey for thousands of cheering fans. But that was 20 years ago. Now even the UK's Romford Rockets, the lowest team in the lowest division in the world don’t want him anymore. When he’s told he’ll have to retire at the end of the season it feels like the end of his world. He loves the game, it’s all he’s ever done for a living, and he has no skills outside the arena.

      Enter, Mary Walsh, the new team physiotherapist, a woman who can more than hold her own in this male dominated environment . While the other players end up competing for her favour, Duke feels constantly threatened as she checks his body, and exposes its weaknesses. Until the physio sessions grow more intense and an unlikely attraction develops. Suddenly the team, who had always been Duke’s only love, find themselves taking a back seat to this unlikely courtship.

      As the romance blossoms, the team falters. They’re losing games and loyalties are being stretched to breaking point. When emotions come to an explosive head, Duke is forced to choose between his life-long love of the game and the new love who might offer him a future. He chooses his team. It seems his chance of a new beginning with Mary may be lost, but perhaps he and the Raiders can have one last chance to be winners. Unless fate has another twist in store…

      Body Checks is an ensemble piece reminiscent of “The Full Monty,” or “Bend it Like Beckham.” While the main thrust of the story centres around the way Mary teaches Duke that there might be more to life (and himself) than the game, his growth and ultimate redemption is echoed in the progress of the team and the entire community that supports them. By turns intensely funny and dramatic, Body Checks is a feel-good story for our times, featuring a rag-tag group of underdogs who fight for the individual fulfilment that will pave the way to victory as a team.

      Body Checks is based on the critically acclaimed London stage production written by Stewart Alexander and co-produced with Kerry Skinner. It will prove equally appealing to lovers of high-octane sport and heart-warming love stories. A worldwide niche of ice hockey fans will also give this British film genuine international appeal. As a report on the screenplay from The Script Factory simply put it, “Body Checks has an enormous amount of commercial potential.”

      *Please see Docs for extracts from stage reviews and Script Factory report.