08 May Everything You Need to Know About Jonathan Sothcott
A familiar face in the British film industry for the past decade, Jonathan Sothcott is a prolific and often forthright London film producer behind some 40 movies, often in the gangster/crime genre. Here’s everything you need to know about him.
Born in Redhill, Surrey his family moved to East Sussex when he was 6 and he grew up there, attending Buckswood Grange and Lewes Old Grammar Schools. As a child, his passion was always movies and he often ironically cites how a school report chiding “a little less science fiction, a little more science” resonated with him – particularly while on the set of his film Airborne starring his childhood hero Mark Hamill aka Luke Sykwalker.
Sothcott was not “particularly good” academically and left school with no A levels but soon found work as a film journalist. In his late teens and early twenties he produced and participated in dozens of DVD commentaries for films as diverse as Women In Love, Summer Holiday, Doctor Who & The Daleks and The Wild Geese, working for major Hollywood studios including MGM and Paramount. During this time he worked with British film legends Ken Russell, Bryan Forbes, Sir Roger Moore, Brian Clemens and Sir Christopher Lee.
Sothcott produced a documentary about British film producer Euan Lloyd entitled The Last of the Gentleman Producers, and often cites Lloyd as an early influence. The documentary played at the Bradford Film Festival and has been released on DVDs of Who Dares Wins and The Wild Geese. At Lloyd’s 2016 memorial service Sothcott gave a touching eulogy, aptly entitled The Last of the Gentleman Producers.
He was the youngest Television Executive in British TV history when he was one of the founders of and Head of Programming for The Horror Channel in 2004, aged just 24.
Sothcott made his first short film in 2008. Karma Magnet was directed by Martin Kemp and starred his brother Gary. Kemp went on to become one of Sothcott’s most frequent collaborators, working with him both as a director (Stalker, Top Dog) and actor (Age of Kill, How To Stop Being a Loser).
He made 6 films starring Danny Dyer, culminating in their shared best effort Vendetta in 2013. He also put together Danny Dyer’s Football Foul Ups, executive produced the stand up comedy show How A Middle Class Comedian Fell In Love With Danny Dyer and co-wrote (with James Mullinger) the book The Films of Danny Dyer, which was described by The Telegraph as “strangely delightful.”
Sothcott was the first producer to team father and daughter stars Ray and Jaime Winstone in the largely forgotten cannibal horror comedy Elfie Hopkins. The film had a wide release but all that sank without trace.
In 2014 Sothcott negotiated a landmark production deal with American studio Starz and Anchor Bay Entertainment to produce 4 films for them each year. The resultant films, including We Still Kill The Old Way, Age of Kill, We Still Steal The Old Way and Bonded By Blood 2 were all huge successes on home entertainment.
Amidst a fanfare of publicity, Sothcott almost produced a new Carry On film in 2016, after the celebrated comedy series ground to a half in the nineties. Unfortunately (or perhaps not!) the venture never got off the ground, with legal wrangles over the original films putting the mockers on things.
Once dubbed “the Poundland Guy Ritchie” Sothcott is perhaps the only indie producer to have worked with all the key cast of Ritchie’s debut Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, notching up credits with Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham, Vas Blackwood and Frank Harper.
Despite having “no interest” in the beautiful game, Sothcott is the most prolific producer of football hooligan movies in Britain, with 7 terrace-based geezerfests to his name. The best of them, White Collar Hooligan and GBH , feature one of Sothcott’s favourite rugged leading men, Nick Nevern. The pair have made 10 films together.
Another favourite Sothcott collaborator is iconic Hollywood villain Steven Berkoff. Asked in a 2012 interview why he made so many less than stellar low budget British films, Berkoff simply replied “because I like the producer, Jonathan Sothcott.”
In 2018 he won CEO monthly’s ‘Most Innovative Film Production CEO’ which he can add to a brimming trophy cabinet which includes a number of British Independent Film Festival Awards including the prestigious British Lion award which he won in 2012. Sothcott has also appeared in both the Essex Power 100 and London Power 100 lists in recent years.
He lives with his glamorous actress partner Janine Nerissa and four children. The couple have worked together on a number of occasions including on the films Aura and The Krays – Dead Man Walking and are a regular fixture on the London social scene.