“The Guard” was one of the more pleasant surprises of last year, an under-the-radar little foul-mouthed dark comedy that featured something close to a career-best performance from the great Brendan Gleeson, and a sharp script from John Michael McDonagh, who demonstrated that he’s just as exciting a talent as his older brother Martin (who helmed “In Bruges” and the upcoming “Seven Psychopaths“). So the news a little while back that the pair were reuniting for a new project, “Calvary,” was exciting enough. But McDonagh’s now filling out his cast, and the excitement only continues to build.
Deadline reports from Berlin that Protagonist Pictures have started pre-sales on the project, and that a trio of excellent actors have all come on board the film: Chris O’Dowd, who broke out this summer as the male lead in “Bridesmaids,” Kelly Reilly, best known as Dr. Watson’s missus in the “Sherlock Holmes” films, and Aidan Gillen (“The Wire,” that dude in the plane during the “The Dark Knight Rises” prologue).
The film is described as being of a similarly black comic tone to “The Guard,” but with more dramatic elements, about a priest (Gleeson), wrongfully accused of child abuse by his community (the title refers to the site of Jesus’ crucifixion). McDonagh said when the project was first announced that, “There are probably films in development about priests which involve abuse. My remit is to do the opposite of what other people do, and I wanted to make a film about a good priest.” There’s no word on who the new additions will be playing, but they’re all fine actors, and should fit right at home with McDonagh’s work. Filming should get underway in the summer.