Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

Jim Sheridan's magical new film is away with the fairies

Film director Jim Sheridan is teaming up with his screenwriter daughter Naomi to create a "magical Irish fairy tale".

The father and daughter met up in New York yesterday to put the finishing touches to the script of the movie 'David & the Fairy King' which they hope to make with Disney.

The film is described as a children's tale for adults, and the 62-year-old wants to reflect on the collapse of the property market here.

"I read that Irish developers who believed in the property bubble might as well have believed in fairies," he told the Irish Independent.

"I'm also taken with the idea of builders who had a run of bad luck after they ripped up fairy forts in the Irish countryside," he said.

The 'My Left Foot' director wants Robert Downey Jnr to play the lead in the film about an Irish-American who captures the "king of the fairies".

He believes the troubled actor would be perfect for the part because he can "pull off being funny, crazy and tough all at the same time".

It will be his first collaboration with Naomi, since 2002's Oscar-nominated 'In America', a semi-autobiographical tale of Irish immigrants trying to make it in New York.

The director has revealed how he will also return "to the well" for his next movie, an autobiographical drama based on his upbringing in Dublin's Sheriff Street.

Daniel Day-Lewis would love a part, he said yesterday, while Saoirse Ronan could get a starring role.

The decision to return to his roots comes after the disappointing reviews for his last film, the psychological thriller 'Dream House'.

It starred Hollywood A-listers Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, but didn't draw in the crowds.

Due to begin shooting in Dublin this September, 'Sheriff Street', like 'My Left Foot' -- Christy Brown's struggle to be accepted in poverty-stricken 1930s Dublin -- will draw heavily on Sheridan's upbringing.

The drama, set in the 1960s, will focus on a working-class family called the Sheridans.

"I'm happy with the script. The difficulty is that it's a period piece, which means it's an expensive movie and it's difficult to do in Ireland. Getting money for drama now is hard," he said.

But an A-list cast should help.

"There's a part for Saoirse (Ronan) if she wants it.

"Daniel (Day-Lewis) keeps kicking my ass, asking me when I'm going to do it and I'm looking for something for him," he added.

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