New project alert! For his next film, Jim Sheridan
is seizing upon a true story about the Maze Prison escape, which was
known as the Great Escape when the story unfolded in Northern Ireland.
The three-time Oscar-nominated writer-director has just cast Cillian Murphy (Dunkirk, Inception) and Fifty Shades star Jamie Dornan to lead the cast, with Pierce Brosnan in talks to also join H-Block.
The story is about an escape from
the maximum-security prison that became a source of propaganda used by
the IRA. Thirty-eight prisoners escaped from H-Block with only 19 recaptured.
In the escape, one officer died of a heart attack after being stabbed
(one of four injured that way). In all, 20 were injured including
being stabbed or shot; one prison officer was shot in the head but
survived. The escape was a violent breakout that included hostage taking
and ended up being the biggest in both British and Irish history.
Murphy stars as the head of the ring of IRA prisoners who
has earned the respect of the prison guards but now just wants a life of
peace.The gritty role for Dornan is a decided turn from what the actor has
been doing and gives him a chance to really let loose and show his
acting chops as an IRA prisoner and orderly who starts discovering
weaknesses in the prison. He also is one of the last IRA prisoners to
agree to the escape — but leave he does and with a vengeance on the way
out.The role for Brosnan would be a good one for him for the same reasons
as he would play the antagonist — warden of the Maze Prison who is
pitted against the escapees.