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.
In September, the troubled biopic of boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward is supposed to begin shooting. Star Mark Wahlberg says he's still behind the film, but even he cannot guarantee the film will get made."I'll be disappointed (if it doesn't happen), because it's been a dream of mine," he told Men's Health magazine recently.
Also in September, Taken - Liam Neeson's next film - is slated to hit theaters. The film sounds a bit like a remake of the 1980s Arnold Schwarzenegger shoot-em-up Commando. In both films, the daughter of a former soldier is kidnapped, then (presumably) heroically rescued.
Cillian Murphy has joined the stellar cast of Peacock, a drama to be directed by Michael Lander. Set for a 2009 release, Peacock also features Susan Sarandon, Bill Pullman and the young star of Juno Ellen Page. In Peacock, Murphy plays a small town clerk who discovers that a homeless woman has been secretly living in his back yard.
Finally, Irish beauty queen Gemma Garret is branching out into movies - at her peril. The onetime Miss Belfast and Miss Great Britain is teaming up with 80s action star Dolph Lundgren to shoot Direct Contact in Bulgaria and is planning to shoot another film with the muscular leading man. Garret was Sienna Miller's body double in Layer Cake and has also been seen in the movies Johnny Was and Buy Borrow Steal.