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Soderbergh Confirms Irish ‘Knockout’
19 Jan 2010 :
Ewan McGregor
wireimage.com
‘Knockout’, a new feature film to be directed by Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Thirteen, Erin Brockovich) will start a three week shoot in and around Dublin and Wicklow next month. The film which was written specifically for Dublin will feature an A-list cast including Ewan McGregor (The Men Who Stare at Goats), and IFTA nominee, Michael Fassbender (Fish Tank).

US stars Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow) and Michael Douglas (The Game) are also in talks to star in the film which will mark the debut of martial arts expert Gina Carano.

‘Knockout’ tells the story of Mallory Kane, a young, tough, beautiful freelance covert operative, played by Carano. She is hired out by her handler to various global entities to perform jobs which governments can’t authorize and heads of state would rather not know about. For all her looks and youth, Mallory is still the best in her field, and her skills are in constant demand. After a mission to rescue a hostage in Barcelona, Mallory is quickly dispatched on another mission to Dublin. There she partners with another operative, the suave and debonair Paul.

When the operation goes awry and Mallory finds she has been double crossed, she needs to use all of her skills, tricks and abilities to escape an international manhunt, make it back to the United States, protect her family, and exact revenge on those that have betrayed her. Fassbender will be a member of her commando spy unit, and a potential candidate for Kane’s betrayer. McGregor is set to play the owner of the private military company who Mallory works for. The film will also shoot on location in New Mexico, Turkey and Barcelona.

Produced by Gregory Jacobs (Ocean’s Thirteen) and Relativity Media in cooperation with Irish company Parallel Films (Perrier’s Bounty, Intermission) with funding from Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, ‘Knockout’ will film in Dublin and Wicklow for three weeks beginning on Tuesday, February 2nd.

The project will provide in excess of 100 Irish jobs with key Irish cast and crew working alongside international crew on the feature. IFTA winning composer David Holmes (Hunger), who worked with Soderberg on the ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ films, is also attached to the project.

Commenting on bringing the project to Ireland, US producer Gregory Jacobs says “Unlike most productions that tailor what's available to the script, we wrote this movie for Dublin and are thrilled that the city has been so cooperative. Steven Soderbergh and I are very happy to have such a great group of Irish technicians and crafts people on the project and a terrific Irish partner in Parallel Films.”

Irish producer Alan Moloney (Breakfast on Pluto) also voiced his delight, saying “Getting to work with Steven Soderbergh and Greg Jacobs is a real treat for us and me personally. I have admired their work for many years and I have no doubt that ‘Knockout’ will be a great movie. Of course this could not be possible without the combined support of the Irish Film Board and the incentive available under Section 481. I look forward to seeing the growth in both these provisions as we move into the next decade. Film and television production is undeniably one of the areas where the Irish economy can benefit hugely moving into the future.”

Simon Perry, IFB Chief Executive continued the positive strain, commenting “We are delighted that our contribution to attracting such a top quality US filmmaking team to shoot in Ireland has paid off. It’s excellent news for the Irish film industry and for Irish tourism, too. Most importantly, the fact that this project was written especially for Dublin reflects the growth of Ireland’s international image and reputation over the past few years.”

Welcoming today’s announcement, Martin Cullen TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism said “I am delighted this new international feature will begin shooting in Ireland next month. We welcome international actors Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Gina Carano as they begin filming in Dublin and Wicklow. I am also particularly pleased that over 100 film industry jobs will be created for Irish cast and crew. ‘Knockout’ will give a great boost not only to the Irish audiovisual industry but to the Irish economy in general.”

Minister Cullen added: “Section 481 is a key element in facilitating film and filmmaking in this country. Our attractiveness as a film location is also built around our home-based expertise and the reputation which we have gained throughout the world in both the technical and acting arenas. I wish all those associated with this important, new Irish Film Board-supported production every success.”

The improvements to Section 481 introduced by Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Martin Cullen last year, together with experienced Irish production companies and film crew were all instrumental in bringing the film to Ireland. Other recent projects that have filmed on location in Ireland include ‘Leap Year’ starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode, and the UK TV series ‘Primeval’ is set to begin production in March this year.



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