An upcoming biopic of Brian Boru will be the biggest movie ever made in Ireland.
The $104m budget film, which is to begin filming in the country next year, has been hailed as "a massive coup for the Department of Arts and the Irish film industry," reports the Irish Independent.
Scenes will be filmed at a number of landmark locations such as the Cliffs of Moher. It is hoped the depiction of Ireland's natural landscapes will "showcase" Ireland to the rest of the world and boost tourism.
Corkman Mark Mahon is the writer, producer and director behind the epic film. This week, Mahon will be launching a graphic novel entitled "Freedom Within The Heart" upon which the movie will be based.
Mahon said, "We have a couple of big names in mind for the lead but we do plan on using as much big Irish talent as possible for the main characters."
The story centers around Brian Boru, whose armies fought and defeated the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf. Boru was killed near the end of the conflict.
Mahon says the story is about "bravery and human spirit."
"At the time, the country was being pillaged and destroyed, and it took one man with a vision – ultimately that's all it does take. It's a good comparison to what's happening today. And I believe if you look at our history we are a nation of people who will overcome."
Mahon, who was injured in an industrial accident while working in a pharmaceutical company at the age of 22, is no stranger to adversity himself.
"It was just one of those things that went wrong. It was a major shock to the system. Initially, it was like my whole world fell apart and it was a very difficult time as you can appreciate.
"I began to think about how I could still stay involved in my passion, so I started writing from the hospital bed.
"I spent several months in hospital and I was in a wheelchair for three-and-a-half years, but I was determined to get out of it.
"The one thing I took from my accident is that at times of adversity you either let the situation chew you up – or else you take a positive lesson from it, learn from it and use it to make you stronger."
Production of the film is expected to be officially announced by Minister of Arts Jimmy Deenihan in the coming weeks.
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