A film production company co-owned by celebrated Killarney actor Michael Fassbender is working on a script charting the story of the Celtic warrior whose legendary exploits earned him the title of the Hound of Ulster.
Fassbender has already pitched a Kerry film proposal to Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan, and they held preliminary, informal talks on the project when they met at the recent Iftas in Dublin.
The minister said while no specific project was outlined, the Ifta Best Actor winner is to contact him this year to discuss the proposal in more detail.
“Any help I can give him to bring it to fruition, I will,” said Mr Deenihan.
Fassbender, who was also nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in Shame, is reported to have linked up with top Irish screenwriter Ronan Bennett for the Cúchulainn project, which could see the star of Hunger, X-Men and Inglourious Basterds play the lead role.
It is believed they have raised initial development finances through their production company, Finn McCool Films, but the project is still at an embryonic stage, with no director yet attached.
Meanwhile, tourism industry chiefs in Kerry are to ask Fassbender to consider playing a promotional or ambassadorial role during the high-profile homecoming festival, The Gathering, which will take place throughout Ireland in 2013.
The year-long Fáilte Ireland-led event will celebrate the country’s people, landscape, culture and heritage. Kerry business leaders insist the acclaimed actor is perfectly poised to put the county in which he was reared to the forefront of the celebration.
“We plan to approach Michael to see if he is in a position to do something to help. It would be wonderful if he could have Kerry chosen as a location for a new film or even if he would consider hosting an acting master class in Killarney during The Gathering,” said Michael Rosney, the PRO of the Irish Hotels Federation Kerry branch.
“At this time of great business uncertainty and major economic turbulence, it would be great if Michael Fassbender, as Kerry’s most famous son, could use his deserved fame and recognition to help promote the town in which he grew up.”
He said he would actively seek the support of the mayor of Killarney and the Chamber of Tourism and Commerce for the project.
The idea of The Gathering first emerged in 2009 at the economic forum held in Farmleigh, Dublin, and early estimates predict it could attract well in excess of 350,000 visitors to Ireland next year.