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King of Crime’s screenwriter Linda Dunscombe on writing meaningful LGBTQ+ characters

King of Crime is a British gangster film following the biggest player in Britain’s cybercrime world. Facing destruction by extremists, it’s time to settle old scores before getting out for good. For Marcus King, It’s a gripping tale of money, power, and operating the biggest deal of his career.

Starring Mark Wingett, Claire King, Rachel Bright, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett (who will appear in Epix’s upcoming Batman prequel ‘Pennyworth’), and Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Nicholas Brendon, ‘King of Crime’ will be out in select cinemas from 2nd November and available digitally early next year.

To celebrate the upcoming release, Linda Dunscombe (Scriptwriter and Producer of King of Crime) has given us a little insight into the decision to feature a bisexual character in the film and finding representation where you may not usually expect it.


From the beginning, we wanted King of Crime to break out beyond the normal boundaries of a gangster film. Creatively, we had a shared vision to make it brighter and bolder than the genre normally delivers.

Writing a bisexual character into a dark, gritty, crime thriller might not be an obvious thing to do. But then there is nothing obvious about a grandmother writing a British gangster film either.

It was James Welling who first approached me to write a film about gangsters and cybercrime and it was his idea to have the bisexual character. The step from there to making the character a transvestite was an easy one for me.

a homosexual relationship with a gangster character very often personified in a macho way

Many years ago, I co-wrote the award-winning book Madam, loosely based on Becky Adams twenty years in the sex industry. One of the services she offered was a transvestite dressing service, which was hugely popular. From my time writing the book with Becky, I learned a great deal about the subject.

She was also kind enough to talk to our actor about his relationship with clothes and textures to help him get into character. I know he found her help and advice invaluable.

We still had challenges to overcome, as our actor Bryn Hodgen is over six feet tall. Our wardrobe lady Ruby worked hard to find him suitable clothes and shoes. I did hear him say that there was chaffing from the tights and I’m sure that he would have a few things to say about the challenges of walking in size ten court shoes.

King of Crime is as much about relationships as it is violence. In most gangster films the male leads are often personified as stereotypically masculine, so we felt it was an important and conscious decision to have an LGBTQ+ leading character. Representation matters and in many ways, this relationship – despite being complicated – is also the most honest.

King of Crime will be out in select cinemas from 2nd November and available digitally early next year. For more information on screenings, visit https://kingofcrimemovie.com/.

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