Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Irish Reel not in the mood for dancing after pyrrhic victory

An Irish film company is unlikely to recoup more than €1m it is owed by UK-based Capitol Films, which has been placed in administration.

Irish Reel Productions has been locked in a legal battle with Capitol for more than a year, since it allegedly failed to receive payment for pre-production work on a planned big-budget production by Capitol, Mary Queen Of Scots, which was to star Scarlett Johansson.

A significant portion of filming for that movie was scheduled to take place in Ireland, with reservists from the Defence Forces due to be drafted in as extras, as they were for Mel Gibson's |Braveheart.

Irish Reel had been attempting to have Capitol Films wound up. That motion was denied by the UK courts on technical grounds, but Capitol was placed into administration. It is understood to have a deficit of roughly £50m (€57m) on its books.

Producer Arthur Lowe, who heads Irish Reel Productions, is involved in various production companies, including Element Pictures, which has co-produced titles such as The Wind That Shakes The Barley. Mr Lowe told the Irish Independent he did not expect to receive the money due and described the ruling as ‘a pyrrhic victory’.