There’s been some great film industry news for Northern Ireland’s economy recently. Universal Pictures is bringing a major fairytale comedy to Belfast, and now it’s been announced that “Star Wars” actress Natalie Portman and “Pineapple Express” actor James Franco have booked their flights to Belfast and will star in the production.
The movie, entitled “Your Highness,” will begin filming in July at Paint Hall, a studio in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, and is expected to bring £10 million ($16m) to the local economy, employing hundreds of cast and crew from the North.
The film is described as a "tale of two spoiled and arrogant princes in a medieval fantasy setting.” The two princes, played by Franco and Irish-American “Land of the Lost” star Danny McBride, set out on a quest to save the kingdom.
Meanwhile, McBride’s character, described as the “lazy” prince, falls in love with a warrior princess, played by Portman.
The news of the major multi-million dollar feature film in Northern Ireland came at the heels of an announcement that HBO is set to film a new fantasy television series in Belfast’s Paint Hall called “A Game of Thrones.”
Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said: “At a time of economic downturn, we have sought to bring a new and diverse range of investments here to create jobs and build experience. The creative industries are one key area.”