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Production News

Cheadle & Gleeson Join Forces For ‘The Guard’
29 Oct 2009 :
Cheadle to star
Principal photography for a new Irish comedy thriller, ‘The Guard’, has commenced in Spiddal, Co. Galway. The feature is written and directed by John Michael McDonagh (Ned Kelly) and stars Brendan Gleeson (Into the Storm) and Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda).

Announced today by Martin Cullen TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, the film sees Emmy winner Brendan Gleeson playing an unorthodox Irish policeman who joins forces with Don Cheadle’s straitlaced FBI agent in a bid to take on an international drug-smuggling gang.

Other Irish acting talents featured includes IFTA winners Liam Cunningham (Hunger), Fionnula Flanagan (Lost, Transamerica), Pat Shortt (Garage) and David Wilmot (Intermission, The Clinic).

Director of photography for the project is Larry Smith (Eyes Wide Shut) and production designer is John-Paul Kelly (Venus). ‘The Guard’s costume designer is Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh (Brideshead Revisted) and the film’s editor is Chris Gill (28 Days Later).

The film will shoot for six weeks on location in Connemara, Spiddal and Barna with some scenes also scheduled for filming in Wicklow. 'The Guard' is one of a number of films and television series to locate in Galway this year. Other projects have included ‘Leap Year’, ‘Outcast’ and ‘Nothing Personal’ and the TV series ‘Na Cloigne’, ‘Rásaí na Gaillimhe’ and ‘The Guards.’

’The Guard’ is an Irish/UK co-production, produced by Chris Clark, Flora Fernandez Marengo (The Betrayal - Nerakhoon) for Reprisal Films and Irish based Ed Guiney (Zonad) and Andrew Lowe (The Wind that Shakes the Barley) for Element Pictures. Exec-producers on board are Martin McDonagh (In Bruges), Don Cheadle, Lenore Zerman (Darfur Now), Tim Smith (Dorian Gray), Paul Brett (Easy Virtue), Ralph Kamp (The Phantom of the Opera) and David Nash. The film is also supported by the Irish Film Board.

Speaking today, Martin Cullen said: “I am delighted that ‘The Guard’ written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, is to film in Galway and Wicklow. The choice of both Wicklow and the west by Element Pictures and Reprisal Films demonstrates that Ireland remains an attractive and also a cost effective base for local and international film and television production. Ongoing indigenous and international features enable the Irish film industry to maintain jobs and build on the excellent international reputation that Irish crews have. The announcement is a boost to our film industry and an extremely positive endorsement of the Irish acting and production skills within this important and much valued sector.”

The Minister added “The announcement that ‘The Guard’ is confirmed for production, follows on from the announcement earlier this month that the successful ITV drama ‘Primeval’ will film its fourth and fifth series on location here. The ITV drama has a budget of circa €15 million and will create over 70 crew jobs in the Irish film and television industry. The film industry is the cornerstone of a creative economy and with the improvements earlier this year to Section 481 the Government acknowledges its importance at this time. I would like to congratulate the Irish Film Board on the role it is playing in the development of our indigenous film industry and in marketing Ireland as an attractive film location.”

Ed Guiney, Producer, Element Pictures was also full of praise for the new project and its director: “We at Element along with our partners at Reprisal are delighted to be producing John Michael McDonagh’s debut film ‘The Guard’. We believe he is a film maker of exceptional talent and expect that the film will make a huge impact both at home and worldwide when it is released at the end of next year.”

Simon Perry, Chief Executive of Bord Scannan na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board continued on this positive strain, saying “’The Guard’ is a quintessentially Irish take on crime and policing, a combination of sharp observation and wild comedy that should please both audiences in Ireland and further afield.” said Simon Perry, Chief Executive of Bord Scannan na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.

‘The Guard’ is a Reprisal Films and Element Pictures production in association with Prescience, Aegis Film Fund, UK Film Council and Crescendo Productions and with the participation of an Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board. International sales are being handled by Metropolis Films and the film will be released by Optimum Releasing in the United Kingdom and Element Pictures Distribution in Ireland.

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