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Penn may be recruited as IRB leader in Rising film

Sunday, 17th January, 2016 3:33pm

Penn may be recruited as IRB leader in Rising film

Seamus Enright

Hollywood A-lister Sean Penn could be the latest recruit for an ambitious Easter Rising film driven by a Belturbet filmmaker.
While the actor has been the focus of global media attention for his Rolling Stone interview with Joaquin Guzman - which may have played a part in the Mexican authorities’ capture of the notorious drug lord - he could soon be attracting the attention of Irish journalists for reasons much closer to home.
In an interview in this week's Celt, Cavan filmmaker Kevin McCann has insisted that the film exploring Seán MacDiarmada’s pivotal role in this defining moment in Irish history is still on the cards, yet it will not be produced in time for the centenary celebrations, as originally hoped.
The award wining producer also confirmed that Sean Penn has been sounded out for a role as senior IRB figure Tom Clarke.
“He has been approached,” Kevin told the Celt. “The script is with him. He is a very busy man and when the time is right I’m sure a decision will be made.”
If Penn, whose mother is half Irish, took on the role of the eldest of the signatories of the proclamation, it would prove a massive boon for the project, which has already sealed the participation of some notable names.
To date the cast boasts the likes of Colin Morgan in the starring role of Seán MacDiarmada, heartthrob Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Padraig Pearse, David O’Hara as James Connolly and Cavan’s own Michael Harding as MacDiarmada’s mentor McGurren from Blacklion.
The film is inspired by the biography Seán MacDiarmada: The Mind of the Revolution by Dr Gerard MacAtasney, who has been working closely with Kevin McCann, ensuring historical accuracy while he co-wrote the script.
Looking back Kevin, who produced award winning documentary ‘The Boys of St Columb’s’, pinpoints a 2012 front page article in The Anglo-Celt as a defining moment in the development of The Rising project.
“It was there in black and white. The figure of €4m was there for everybody to read. There was no hiding any more. There was no turning back. I can look back and say there were certain incidents that happened, which had they not happened, I wouldn’t be where I am. That was one of them.”

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