Ciarán Hinds, Sinéad Cusack and English actor Rufus Sewell are to star in a €2.5m feature film adaptation of Irish writer John Banville’s Booker Prize-winning novel ‘The Sea’.
The Irish/ English co-production will be directed by award-winning British director Stephen Brown (The Curious) and will be shot in Co Wexford – the novel’s setting – with producers Samson Films and Independent hoping to begin shooting in mid-September.
The feature is being produced for broadcast on RTÉ and has been offered €350,000 under the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s Sound and Vision II scheme. According to the BAI, this equates to 13 per cent of the project’s overall budget.
David Collins (Stay) will produce for Ireland’s Samson Films alongside Luc Roeg (We Need To Talk About Kevin) of London-based production company Independent.
Banville (Albert Nobbs) has adapted his own novel for the screen which tells the story of widower Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman who has gone back to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a child to cope with the recent loss of his wife. It is also a return to the place where he met the Graces, the family with whom he experienced the suddenness of both love and death for the first time.
Ciarán Hinds (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) will play Max Morden with Sewell (The Illusionist) cast as Carlos Grace and Sinéad Cusack as Anna Morden.
Irish crew attached to the project include director of photography John Conroy (Parked); production designer Derek Wallace (Good Vibrations); line producer Brian Willis (The Boy In The Bubble) and editor Stephen O’Connell (Borstal Boy). Post-production on ‘The Sea’ will take place at Windmill Lane in Dublin.
Speaking to IFTN, director Stephen Brown said that he was “thrilled and delighted” that ‘The Sea’ is “being shot in the right place”. He added: “John Banville has been a real mentor to the project throughout and he loves our vision. It really is a project that has to be shot in Ireland because the soul of the film is here and the location is as much a character as the characters themselves.”
'The Sea’ will mark Brown’s first feature film as a director having previously directed a number of projects for corporate clients as well as documentaries. His short films ‘Breathing’ (1992) and ‘The Curious (1995) both picked up a number of awards at international festivals.
John Banville’s ‘The Sea’ won the Man Booker Prize in 2005.