VIDEO: Irish movie production boom reels brings the stars to our shores

Some of the world’s biggest names in Hollywood are currently filming on these shores as a wave of movie and TV productions get underway.

VIDEO: Irish movie production boom reels brings the stars to our shores

By Jim Gallagher

Some of the world’s biggest names in Hollywood are currently filming on these shores as a wave of movie and TV productions get underway.

Liam Neeson, Jude Law, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Blake Lively, Ruth Wilson, Michael Caine, Bill Nighy, Adrian Dunbar, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are all in Ireland, both north and south, working on different projects.

And Irish actors and film crews have never had it so good as they enjoy a boom time in their profession.

“Production at the moment is at an all time high — and long may it continue,” said one film executive.

One of the most prestigious productions is Disney film Artemis Fowl, based on the famous fantasy books by Irish author Eoin Colfer.

Directed by Belfast-born Kenneth Branagh, 57, and with Robert De Niro as one of the producers, it stars Kilkenny schoolboy Ferdia Shaw as the young criminal mastermind.

The 13-year-old beat competition from 1,200 other would-be stars to get his first ever movie role. Judi Dench is playing fairy police chief Commander Root.

Acclaimed playwright Conor McPherson is among the screenwriters and the cast filming in Northern Ireland also includes Laurence Kinlan.

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Other productions are:

Taken Down, which is currently filming in Dublin, and is produced by Stuart Carolan, who created Love/Hate, and Suzanne McAuley.

It was written by Jo Spain and is being directed by David Caffrey; Lynn Rafferty plays Detective Jen Rooney who investigates the violent death of a young Nigerian migrant waiting for political asylum. Her investigation brings her into a twilight world of the new Ireland where slum landlords and criminals prey on the vulnerable.Brian Gleeson, Orla Fitzgerald and Barry Ward are among the other stars.

The hugely successful Vikings is back in Co Wicklow, near Lough Tay, for its sixth series. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Alexander Ludwig, and Katheryn Winnick reprise their roles; in the long-running series.

The cameras are rolling again on The Rhythm Section movie after its star, Blake Lively, broke her hand earlier in the year and production had to be halted. The action thriller follows a woman’s plot for revenge and is being filmed in Dublin with Jude Law and Sterling K Brown;

A new BBC series, Mrs Wilson, starring Ruth Wilson, is being filmed in the North and tells the story of the actress’s grandmother, Alison Wilson, and her family’s unusual history;

The three-part drama also features Iain Glenn, from Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey, and Irish actress Fiona Shaw.

TV3 is making its own six-part thriller series, Blood, in which Adrian Dunbar plays a doctor under suspicion of murdering his wife. The psychological drama is seen through the eyes of his troubled daughter. Written by Sophie Petzal, the series is being shot in Co Meath and Kildare.

Vivarium is a science fiction movie about a couple who get trapped in a maze of identical homes and is being made by Irish director Lorcan Finnegan. It stars Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, and Eanna Hardwicke.

Four Kids and It is a children’s movie with Michael Caine and Bill Nighy, who were recently filming at Dublin’s Helix Theatre;

The film is about a group of children who find a magical creature on a beach – supposedly Cornwall – which has the power to grant wishes. Written by Simon Lewis, it also stars Paula Patton and Matthew Goode.

Liam Neeson is back in Northern Ireland filming Normal People with Lesley Manville, a romantic drama about a married couple who have to deal with a devastating diagnosis.

Also starring Lesley Manville, it’s a long way from the Northern Irish actor’s recent action-man movies. Filming is underway in Northern Ireland.

Three other projects were recently completed and are now in post-production, Amy Huberman’s Finding Joy, Blinder Films’ Extra-Ordinary and Element Pictures’ Rosie.

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