Michael Fassbender is set to star in a biopic about the Belfast-bred Irish language rap trio Kneecap, according to a report in Variety today, October 27.

Fassbender, the two-time Oscar nominee who was raised in Killarney, Co Kerry, was cast in the “Kneecap” biopic before the SAG-AFTRA strike, Variety notes.

Kneecap shared the news in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Friday:


👉 https://t.co/3IjJoLj6k3 pic.twitter.com/kFSEbCvFTO

— KNEECAP (@KNEECAPCEOL) October 27, 2023

An official synopsis of the "Kneecap" biopic says: "West Belfast, 2019. Fate brings together disillusioned music teacher JJ with self-confessed ‘low life scum’ Naoise and Liam Og, changing the sound of Irish music forever.

"Under the name Kneecap, their band begins moulding the language to fit their tough, anarchic, hedonistic lives. A language encumbered with forty words for stone now has one for stoned.

"But to get their voices heard the trio must overcome police, paramilitaries and politicians as the future of the Irish language erupts into the public arena – with them at the centre.

"Yet their worst enemies are often themselves, as family and relationship pressures threaten their dreams, and their illegal exploits draw condemnation from all sides."

"Kneecap," Variety reports, is a co-production between Mother Tongues Films and Fine Point Films, with Mother Tongues’ Jack Tarling and Fine Point’s Trevor Birney producing. Wildcard’s Patrick O’Neill is co-producer.

The project is also being financed by the BFI (via National Lottery funding), Screen Ireland, Coimisiún na Meán, TG4, and Northern Ireland Screen, in association with Great Point Media and Curzon.

French sales agent Charades is repping international sales while Curzon and Wildcard are handling UK and Irish distribution, Variety says. Sales are launching at AFM.

Variety previously reported that the film had wrapped filming in May of this year, and was slated for the GREAT 8 Showcase in Cannes.

Elsewhere, "Kneecap" will be featured in a "very special, sneak preview event" at the Belfast Film Festival on Monday, November 6 where the Fine Point Films team will share exclusive clips and chat about the creative process of the biopic.

Back in May, Kneecap said: “We’re buzzing to show people a side of Belfast that isn’t about guns, bombs and death. 

“To give an insight into the youth culture that has been born out of that madness – we all needed a break from it and there’s revenge in our laughter. 

“This is the North of Ireland and the importance of culture and community in the 21st Century.”

The Irish language trio said in August that the film would be heading to movie screens in 2024.

Who is Kneecap?

Kneecap, a West Belfast trio consisting of members Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap, and DJ Próvaí, has been growing in prominence since the release of their debut single C.E.A.R.T.A (Irish for rights) in 2017.

The group was inspired by all-night parties in West Belfast, which featured a blend of Irish traditional music and techno.

Group member Mo Chara told the New York Times in 2022 that the group is attempting to highlight that Irish language music does not revolve around "rural traditional music."

The group's consistent reference to drugs has also left them at odds with hardline Irish republicans, who often take a zero-tolerance approach to narcotics.

"We’re screaming about the ‘Ra even though the ‘Ra would probably shoot us for doing all of these sorts of thing," Móglaí Bap told the New York Times.