Filming date set for “Crossmaglen” – the movie

August 19, 2013

A new date has been set for filming of the upcoming Hollywood movie, “Crossmaglen.”

The adaptation of Stuart White’s novel, “Shamrock Boy” will now begin filming in July 2014, according to Arianna Eisenberg of Aegis Films, producer of the movie.

It is understood two of the movie’s main actors were busy on other film projects, leading to the movie shoot being postponed on several occasions but Ms Eisenberg has confirmed the project is fully financed and ready to start rolling no later than July 2014.

The producer has previously spoken to The Examiner about the impact the film will have on the area. She hopes the film will bring the town “out of the shadows” of its history and described the production as being “just as compelling” as the 1992 award-winning movie, ‘In the Name of the Father.’

The film centres around a fictitious IRA member, who accidentally kills a mother and her two children in a failed gun attack on British troops.  He is forced to go on the run and the movie follows him through Belfast and south Armagh as he is being hunted by the British Army and his former comrades.

In ‘Crossmaglen’, Eisenberg attempts to tell the stories of people often ignored in mainstream depictions of the North.

“They are people with stories and whether you agree with them or disagree with them, they feel that they’ve got an issue,” she said.  “And the movie really is just about these men, their families and what goes with that.  It’s not an indictment of the IRA and it’s not an indictment of the British.  It’s not something where we’re making any kind of judgement.”

With a budget of around £14 million, the movie will be filmed primarily in Dublin, however some scenes will be shot in Crossmaglen, giving local people the opportunity to be cast as extras in the production.

“Local people will absolutely have the chance to be involved in the movie,” Ms Eisenberg said.   “We’re very excited for that.  It has to have a local feel to it. We’re looking to cast a lot of extras from the area and use a lot of the locations and everything.

“We do hope we’re going to be received well.   We’re not there to slight the area, we’re just there to tell the story,” she added.

Several well-known names have already been signed, including American actress Thora Birch and Oscar-winner Brenda Fricker, along with Irish actors Timothy V Murphy and Tom Archdeacon.

It has yet to be confirmed who will play the lead role but the producer has indicated in the past that Lord of the Rings star, Viggo Mortensen, is expected to be cast in the role.  She also anticipates that English director, Kevin Connor, will be signed to direct the movie.

Explaining that her company would ideally like to provide young people in the area with opportunities that may not have been afforded to them otherwise, she said that giving back to the community in which they film is as much part of their remit as making the film.

“When we take out of the community, we give back to the community,” she said.  “We would love to do something along the lines of maybe promoting films, to bring in a new era of filmmakers, writers, directors and set designers and give local kids an opportunity and some place to go where they can become that.  Not only to learn a trade, but to learn a life.  This would be a career that would take them everywhere in the world.  It’s a wonderful legacy and that’s how our entire company has been built.”

In the meantime, budding local actors and actresses should hone their acting skills in preparation of possibly appearing in Crossmaglen – Hollywood style.