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Saturday 24 February 2018

Gleeson swaps guards for God in hotly anticipated follow-up

Gleeson is teaming up again with director John Michael McDonagh
Gleeson is teaming up again with director John Michael McDonagh

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

BRENDAN GLEESON will play a rural priest tormented by his parishioners in the highly anticipated follow-up to box office smash 'The Guard'.

Once again teaming up with director and writer John Michael McDonagh, Gleeson plays rural curate Father James Lavelle in the new film 'Calvary'.

The character is described as the flipside to wisecracking Sgt Gerry Boyle in 'The Guard'.

"Father Lavelle is a good man intent on making the world a better place but he is continually shocked and saddened by the spiteful and confrontational inhabitants of his small country town," said producers.

Things start to go wrong for Father Lavelle when he is told in confessional that he will be killed within the week. Soon after that, the forces of darkness begin to close in around him.

Irish actors Aidan Gillen and Chris O'Dowd play parishioners in the black comic drama, with the 'Bridesmaids' star saying he had wanted to get involved as soon as he read Mr McDonagh's script.

"The writing is amazing. The funny thing is that myself and John Michael McDonagh are up against one another in the Rising Star category at the IFTAs this weekend. So even if I beat him, I'll be working for John later this year," Mr O'Dowd told the Irish Independent last night.

Producer Chris Clark also praised the script: "Once again, John Michael McDonagh has written a screenplay of startling wit and originality, and it's exciting to have the incredible Brendan Gleeson on board to play what promises to be another memorable role."

The Irish Independent has learned that the film is due to be shot around Sligo this September.

Hopes are high that 'Calvary' can repeat the success of 'The Guard', which grossed $18.4m (€13.9m) worldwide, earning $5.4m (€4.1m) in North America alone, as well as being the most successful independent film ever at the Irish box office.

'The Guard' is nominated in 10 categories at the IFTAs this Saturday, while Mr McDonagh is also short-listed for best original screenplay at the BAFTAs on Sunday.

Irish Independent

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