Irish director Jim Sheridan is a six-time Oscar nominee for his work on acclaimed films like “My Left Foot,” “In The Name Of The Father” and “In America,” but his career has had ups and downs more recently — he was the decidedly odd choice to make 50 Cent biopic “Get Rich Or Die Tryin’”; “Brothers” with Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire failed to take off; horror-thriller “Dream House” had a troubled production and died at the box office; and Rooney Mara vehicle “The Secret Scripture” got tepid reviews at TIFF.
But his next film looks to return him to the kind of territory that’s produced some of his best work — the Troubles in Ireland, with Sheridan revealed by Deadline to have assembled quite the starry cast for his new film “H-Block.” The film will be based on the true story of the Maze Prison Escape in 1983, when 38 members of the IRA escaped from the most feared prison in Northern Ireland (also the setting for Steve McQueen’s “Hunger”).
It’s a great story, known by Irish republicans as the ‘Great Escape,’ and Sheridan’s got a tantalizing cast, with Cillian Murphy as the ringleader of the escapees, “Fifty Shades Of Grey” lead Jamie Dornan as the planner, and Pierce Brosnan as the antagonist, the prison warden. The film will be seeking financing at Cannes, but with those three lined up and Sheridan’s track record with this sort of story, we can’t imagine it’ll be hard to get. More news as it comes in.