The glamorous Cannes Film Festival kicked off this week, but behind the red carpet, there’ll be lots of deal-making for future projects, including a highly touted one that will star Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, and Ruth Negga.

“Night Boat to Tangier” is a big-screen adaptation of the best-selling (and a New York Times Top 10 Best Books of 2019 pick) novel by Irish writer Kevin Barry. The Oscar-winning director James Marsh will helm, and  Michael Fassbender will serve as executive producer for the $18 million production.

“The story follows Maurice (Fassbender) and Charlie (Gleeson), a colorful pair of gangsters from Ireland who are drug smugglers and partners with a long history of violence and intertwined personal lives. They’re back in southern Spain revisiting old haunts, old flames, and dangerous local criminals all the while searching for Maurice’s estranged daughter Dilly,” says about the plot.

Though the main protagonists are male, Fassbender sees the film as being a testament to the power of the female.

“The men are lost and the women are calling the shots throughout this story and I think it’s so important, especially now, that we continue to examine and interrogate our traditional notions of masculinity. The complexity for me is in these familiar ‘gangster’ characters being revealed as having much less control than we realize at first,” he told Deadline.

The novel "Night Boat to Tangier" was longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize. Kevin Barry, its author, from Limerick, is best known for his book "City of Bohane", which was the winner of the 2013 International Dublin Literary Award. "Beatlebone", which won the 2015 Goldsmiths Prize and is one of seven books by Irish authors nominated for the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award, the world's most valuable annual literary fiction prize for books published in English. 

More news from Michael Fassbender also. He will star in a new movie featuring Northern Irish rap trio Kneecap. The movie, which is also called "Kneecap", will feature a fictional depiction of the Belfast trio's story and is currently being screened at the Cannes Film Market in a bid to attract international film distributors.