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BBC film crew shoot Banville's detective

A NEW form of 'Irish noir' will be shot by the BBC in Dublin -- from John Banville's short stories.

The 1950s detective series, written by John Banville, below, under the pen name Benjamin Black, is to be filmed next year.

Wexford-born author Banville wrote a detective series for television several years ago, but when this project was shelved, he turned the script into books.

It took nine years for the complex characters to be turned into a TV series. Booker Prize winner Banville will have each of three books turned into a 90-minute drama. And if they prove successful, a fourth will be made.

The murky stories of Dublin's underbelly are described as clever whodunits. Lead character Quirke is a cranky, fiery, hard-drinking Dublin pathologist who regularly probes the shady circumstances of death of the victims who come through his morgue.

The books are set in Dublin and Boston in the 1950s and the BBC has now optioned the rights on the new project which is being filmed by Tyrone Productions and Element Pictures. The New York Times previously described the set of books as having "sinuous prose, subtle eroticism and 1950s period detail which do more than enough to put this series on the map".

The news of a BBC series comes as it was revealed that Banville's Man Booker prize-winning novel, The Sea will begin filming in Wexford next March.

Rosslare is a likely location for the five-week shoot with a budget will be around €2.5m.


The film is being produced by Luc Roeg's Independent Films, the group behind We Need To Talk About Kevin.

The Irish Film Board provided funding to the project which is due for release in 2013.

Lead character Max Morden will be played by Ciaran Hinds while Sinead Cusack will take up the role of his wife, and Rosamund Pike will play his childhood crush.

Banville also co-wrote the screen play for Albert Nobbs, a movie based on a short story by George Moore, which is pencilled in for release this year.