It appears that Ireland is jumping on the vampire bandwagon after the Irish Film Board granted funding for Neil Jordan’s ‘Byzantium,’ a vampire thriller flick. Attached to the film already are Sam Reilly, Gemma Arterton, and Irish starlet Saoirse Ronan.

“The investment by the IFB in ‘Byzantium’ will ensure that the project can be produced in Ireland, bringing with it international investment and ensuring Irish talent are attached to it,” said one of the film’s producers, Alan Moloney, to The Hollywood Reporter. With backing from the IFB, shooting is to take place around Dublin and Wicklow.
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“We envisage that these production investments alone will result in generating production activity of up to €38 million ($50.6 million) and will ensure that 2012 will be another year of sustained activity for the Irish film, television, and animation industry,” said James Hickey, chief executive of IFB.

Irish actress Saoirse Ronan has dedicated herself to the role of the 200 year old vampire she’ll be playing in ‘Byzantium.’ Her character is a pianist, and while director Neil Jordan said it would be fine for Ronan to mimic playing the piano in the film, she thought otherwise.

Ronan set out to learn and play the piano quite successfully during the 12-week followup for the film and learned to play so well that it left Jordan “speechless,” reports the Celebrity Cafe.