Grieving Irish star Liam Neeson has dropped out of a planned movie project with Jeremy Irons.

Neeson was supposed to play King Aidan in a movie about Saint Columba, the saint who brought Christianity to Scotland.

However, Neeson has decided to take a break citing his grief over the death of his beloved wife Natasha, seen above with Liam.

Natasha tumbled and fell on a beginner's slope in Canada in March last year while on a brief skiing trip.

She seemed fine at first but lapsed into a coma and was eventually flown to Lenox Hill Hospital where she died a few days later.

Being a real trouper Neeson has tried to keep up with his commitments but he clearly needs to be able to take time out.

Scottish director Norman Stone seems to understand Liam's loss.

"It has been a difficult time for Liam. I think he would have been great in the film. We wanted him to play the part of King Aidan, who has fiery clashes with Columba (played by Irons). It would've been great to see him alongside Jeremy.

"The script was with him for several months and I understand he loved it. He has decided not to go ahead, which is a pity, but the decision was made after what has been a difficult time for him and I respect the circumstances. He is a truly great actor."