Irish actor Brendan Gleeson will play a Catholic priest who must confront his own community and public revulsion towards the Church after its handling of sex abuse scandals there.

The film will see him back working with John Michael McDonagh, the writer and director of his current smash hit The Guard, and it's understood the script, called Calvary, has already been drafted.

According to a report in the Irish Examiner this week the new film will tell the story of a decent priest trying to go about his parish duties against the backdrop of the Catholic Church facing public revulsion because of the litany of sex abuse scandals.

Gleeson said he will play 'a good priest in an atmosphere where the priesthood is reviled.'

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Speaking about the new script with McDonagh, Gleeson said: "We cooked it up one night, just talking. It must be really difficult now to be a good priest, given how you’ve been let down by everything around you."

"I am interested in good people as well as bad. Not purely good — that would be really dull — but I like the notion of mixing great and terrible figures with ordinary men," he said.

Gleeson’s success with The Guard and a previous outing with McDonagh’s playwright brother Martin in "In Bruges", has made the 56-year-old Irish actor one of the busiest and most sought after talents in the world.

Portrait of Irish actor Brendan GleesonDavid Levene