Irish Eye on Hollywood
Interestingly, neither of the two driving forces behind Hunger are Irish-born. McQueen is British while Fassbender was born in Heidelburg, Germany, though his family moved to Killarney, Ireland, when he was young. Fassbender appeared in the swords-and-sandals comic book film 300 and Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream, alongside Colin Farrell. Fassbender has also been seen in numerous British and American TV shows, including Band of Brothers. He is next slated to appear in the upcoming Joel Schumacher movie Town Creek. It's worth noting that Colin Farrell's big breakthrough was Tigerland, also directed by Joel Schumacher. Perhaps the director can do the same for Fassbender.
Hunger was funded, in part, by the Northern Ireland Screen and The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland. It is expected to be distributed in the U.S. by IFC films, though no release date has been announced.
Another highly anticipated Irish movie is Mineville, directed by Dublin native Jason Barry.
Barry, thus far, is best known for his supporting role alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic, playing Tommy Ryan. Barry is moving behind the camera for Mineville, which tells the story of Irish immigrants working in the iron ore camps of upstate New York. Set around 1910, Mineville explores the workers in the camp, as well as a man seen initially as a savior for the laborers, who actually becomes their worst nightmare.
Mineville, which begins shooting in September, is being made by a production company owned by Barry and his wife Nicola Charles.
"Jason and I are really excited about the film," Charles was recently quoted as saying. "It's a great script, and a story that hasn't been told before." Giovanni Ribisi, William Sadler, Anthony Lapaglia, Ian Hart and Tony Curran are among the actors expected to appear in Mineville.
Meanwhile, Irish actor Colm Meaney has been busy shooting British films which should either be available on DVD in the U.S., or may yet make it to theaters over here.
Earlier this year, Meaney appeared in Three and Out, a comedy about a bus driver who hits two people in one month. The driver finds out that if he hits a third anytime soon, he will lose his job - a prospect which actually appeals to him. Now all he has to do is find a person to hit with his bus, or willing to be hit.
Next up for Meaney is a soccer flick called The Damned United. Directed by Tom Hooper (who recently directed the heralded John Adams mini-series for HBO), The Damned United tells the story of former soccer player and coach Brian Clough, who coached Leeds United for just 44 days one miserable season in the 1970s before he was fired. No word yet on whether or not The Damned United will be released in the U.S. It is slated for release in the U.K. some time next year.
Cable giant HBO is producing a new drama series called The Anatomy of Hope, which will explore patients battling cancer and other terminal ailments. Among the stars will be Irish actress Kerry Condon, who previously appeared in HBO's mini-series Rome. Chris Messina (Six Feet Under) and Simon Callow will also star in Anatomy of Hope, which will be produced by Lost wunderkind J.J. Abrams.