Monday, February 11, 2013

Pierce Brosnan to star in The Ghosts of Belfast on the big screen

Stuart Neville
Stuart Neville's Ghosts of Belfast has apparently made it out of movie-option limbo, with Pierce Brosnan set to play the lead (a haunted ex-paramilitary hitman named Fegan in the book). Casting is apparently underway, with no roles other than Brosnan's cast as yet.

The movie, to be titled Last Man Out, is scheduled to begin shooting the end of this year, with a script co-written by Ted Mulkerin and Craig Ferguson, the latter of whom had acquired an option on the novel. That probably explains why Neville got a lot more camera and talk time on Ferguson's show than have some of the other crime writers who have appeared.

The Ghosts of Belfast won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, James Ellroy called it "a flat-out terror trip," and Detectives Beyond Borders read it in one sitting. You should, too.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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18 Comments:

Blogger R.T. said...

Perhaps this will make beyond the early casting stage. Many film projects collapse. And perhaps the author will get significant credit for the book behind the screenplay, and perhaps he will recognize his book within the screenplay. Both of those issues are frequent problems in book options for films.

February 11, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I don't know much about the movie business, but I do know that announcement of a star, a director, two writers, and a production start date is probably a lot farther than some projects get.

Knowing almost nothing about the movie business, I still have to guess that the final writing credits for the movie, if it gets made, might include additional names. I'm not sure Ferguson or the other listed writer has ever written a script other than for a television talk show.

February 11, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

As Declan Burke said over on his blog post mentioning this same news, I can't say that I really pictured Gerry Fegan as anything like Pierce Brosnan. But I'll mention what I heard Karen Joy Fowler say when asked what she thoughnt of the movie made of her book,The Jane Austen Book Club. She said, I took the money I got from it and bought a house in Santa Cruz with it. She seemed very happy with that outcome.

February 11, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I pictured Gerry Fegan as younger than Brosnan is, but I suppose he could made to work.

And, yes, as James Ellroy said at the Free Library here in Philadelphia:

"I would never criticize an adaptation, because I took the dough."

February 11, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And yep, if the movie gets a few more people to read books by the jovial fellow pictured in this post, so much the better. I suspect a fine old guitar or two will find its way into the Neville household as a result of this news, and that's also good.

February 11, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

Isabel Allende also said something to the effect that good or bad, it's still publicitly.

I always pictured David Morse as Gerry Fagen, although he'd be a bit old for the role now too.

February 11, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

As would Raymond Massey. Thing is, any actor talented enough to convincingly portray a haunted man could do well in the role as long as he's not too old to be believable. At least they didn't pick an action hero like Jason Statham for the role.

February 11, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I wonder, too, if a role like that might attract actors who see an opportunity to emote and show agony and all that good stuff.

February 11, 2013  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

The very reason this book attracted the attention of filmmakers is the reason I did not care for it, that is, it read like a novelization of a screenplay. And you know how annoying I find that.

February 11, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Well, I say Neville came up with a brilliant way to dramatize post-Troubles Northern Ireland, but you know that we'll have to agree to disagree on this, and talk about Hammett instead. There is more to Fegan than his wondering (in Collusion) why everything in America is served with cheese on it, though that alone would be enough to elevate him to my personal pantheon.

February 11, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Some of my best friends are Americans, but you people really do put cheese on an awful lot of things. In fact, I had a cheese thought identical to Fegan's long before I ever heard of Stuart Neville.

McKinty's Dead Yard makes a nice bookend with Neville's first two novels in the matter of the Troubles' afterlife: Two different settings, two different ways the Troubles live (or lived) on.

February 11, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

In that case, then, what would one say if one meant: "I have to associate with Quakers, but would rather not"?

February 11, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

Elizabeth, from past comments here, I have inferred that what Peter really objects to here is not cheese, but the penchant for everything WITH cheese.

Of course, I can't really understand this, because I do think cheese enhances things. But I know there are other people like him. Probably mostly Canadians.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I think Stuart's novels are really a slightly different genre from Adrian's. They are more related to action packed Hollywood screenplays, but I don't think that's a cynical response, it's just another way to tell the story. The McKinty Sean Duffy novels are really more like the the Foyle's War television show. The war intrudes constantly, but meanwhile there is ordinary life (and crime) to attend to. Whereas Stuart's books, at least the Fegan books, as I haven't read more yet, are more about being complicit in the process, guilty of crimes against your fellow human beings and how you grapple with that. And I can see why ghosts are a good way to grapple with that.

February 11, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, I don't like most cheeses independent of food, either. But yes, I think Neville/Fegan, like me, wonders about rather than actively dislikes the near-universality of cheese as a topping.

That's a nice capsule comparison of Neville and McKinty, I think. Neville can write action scenes that give action a good name. The prologue to Collusion demonstrates that Neville knows action requires emotion and slow build-up to be effective. By coincidence, the other outstanding crime-fiction prologue that comes to mind, a very different scene, is McKinty’s, to Fifty Grand.

February 11, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

My only problem with that Fifty Grand prologue is that so few people who read it will have come to it cold, as I, and perhaps you did.

February 11, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You mean they'll pick up the book hoping the prologue lived up to its reputation? That might not be so bad.

February 11, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

No, I mean that there is a surprise element to it that you don't get if you read any blurb on it or probably even look at the cover.

February 12, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Well, I think the high point of the prologue is-- But they'll have to read it.

February 12, 2013  

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