Amidst the popcorn blockbusters of the summer, keep an eye out for veterans as well as up-and-coming Irish talent in Hollywood.
First up, Pierce Brosnan stars alongside Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!, based on the musical, which itself was based on the songs of Swedish supergroup Abba. Mamma Mia!, scheduled for a July 18 release, is about a bride-to-be who is searching for her father. The musical was such a hit that superstar Tom Hanks (along with his wife Rita Wilson) snatched up the film rights and produced the movie. Along with Streep and Brosnan, Mamma Mia! also stars Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard. Brosnan is also set to star in the next film by Irish director Terry Loane, the 2009 release Vanilla Gorilla.
Speaking of young Irish directors, John Crowley impressed many with his star-studded 2003 movie Intermission, which featured Colin Farrell, Colm Meaney, Cillian Murphy and a slew of other Irish actors. Crowley, who established his reputation as a brilliant theater director, is returning to film again this summer with the controversial Boy A.
The film, slated for a July release, takes a close look at a juvenile criminal, and what happens when the guilty boy is released back into society with a new identity. He struggles to put the past behind him, but can never put his heinous crime completely out of his mind. Boy A is based on a novel by Jonathan Trigell, and, in part, seems to have been influenced by the infamous Liverpool murder of three-year-old James Patrick Bulger at the hands of two ten-year-old boys. Boy A stars Andrew Garfield as well as Scotsman Peter Mullan, familiar to many Irish film fans for directing the explosive film The Magdalene Sisters, about abusive priests and nuns.