Ewan McGregor-Narrated Motorcycle Doc “Speed Is Expensive” Rides to Virgil Films (EXCLUSIVE)

Start your engines! Virgil Films has acquired North American rights to the Ewan McGregor-narrated documentary “Speed Is Expensive: Philip Vincent and the Million Dollar Motorcycle,” featuring Jay Leno, Clash bassist Paul Simonon and seven-time world championship racer John Surtees.

Lighbulb Film Distribution will release the doc in the U.K. and Ireland. Virgil is repping sales in almost all other international territories at the Cannes Film Market.

Writer/director David Lancaster’s feature tells the story of Vincent, a flawed genius who began designing speed record-breaking bikes in England nearly a century ago. It follows Philip Vincent-Day as he embarks on a search for answers about his grandfather’s life and work. Leno, Simonon, Surtees and other Vincent bike aficionados offer their expert perspectives.

“Obi-Wan Kenobi” star McGregor “has ridden more miles on a bike than most, some of it captured onscreen in the Apple TV+ series ‘Long Way Up,’” says Lancaster, who produced the film with Gerry Jenkinson and James Salter. Some of the filmmakers brought the project to the star’s attention in the middle of the pandemic lockdown. “Ewan loves classic bikes and knows his motorcycle history. We couldn’t have wished for a better narrator.”

Virgil is planning a theatrical release in select markets this September, followed by a multi-platform digital HD release a month later.

“I am overjoyed at being able to share this exciting yet heartbreaking story,” says Virgil Films & Entertainment CEO Joe Amodei, who negotiated the acquisition deal with Lancaster. He founded the company in 2003 to distribute features and original episodic television series, including the Oscar-nominated docs “Restrepo” and “Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me.”

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