With casting for the principal roles in Academy Award-winning writer/director Martin McDonagh's suspense thriller In Bruges confirmed, the project is gearing up for a February start date and shoot on location in Bruges, Belgium. Focus Features holds worldwide rights to the film and is financing production with Film4. Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.
Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin, the principals of the U.K.-based production company Blueprint Pictures, are producing In Bruges. Blueprint is currently in post-production on Julian Jarrold's Becoming Jane, starring Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen; and Gregory Jacobs' Wind Chill, starring double Golden Globe Award nominee Emily Blunt.
Focus senior vice president, production Jill Morris and senior vice president, European production Teresa Moneo are supervising In Bruges for Focus. Tessa Ross of Film4 is executive-producing In Bruges with Jeff Abberley and Julia Blackman of Scion Films.
Part of Focus' expanded international film production slate, In Bruges will topline actors Colin Farrell (most recently seen starring in Miami Vice) and Brendan Gleeson (The General and the Harry Potter movies). Rounding out the cast are European rising stars Clémence Poésy (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and Jérémie Renier (the male lead in the 2005 Cannes International Film Festival Palme d'Or winner L'Enfant [The Child]). In addition, two-time Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes (who starred for Focus in The Constant Gardener) will play a key supporting role.
In Bruges is the darkly comedic tale of the fates of hit men Ray and Ken (to be played by Mr. Farrell and Mr. Gleeson, respectively). After a difficult job in London, the team is ordered by their boss Harry (Mr. Fiennes) to cool their heels in Bruges. Very much out of their comfort zones, the men find themselves drawn into increasingly dangerous entanglements with locals, tourists, and a film shoot. Soon, their perspectives on life and death are violently skewed.
Ms. Poésy is cast as Chloë, a woman working on the movie who catches Ray's eye, to the displeasure of her ex-boyfriend Erik (Mr. Renier).
Mr. McDonagh is making his highly anticipated feature directorial debut on In Bruges, from his original screenplay. He previously wrote and directed the Film4-backed Six Shooter, which earned him last year's Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Film, and which also starred Mr. Gleeson.
The filmmaker is a two-time Olivier Award winner and a four-time Tony Award nominee. His plays include The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Lonesome West, The Pillowman, and The Lieutenant of Inishmore.
Mr. Schamus said, "Martin has written a screenplay that is both killingly funny and dramatically affecting, and this fine troupe of actors from all over the world will interact marvelously under his direction. We're also very grateful for the extensive cooperation and support that Bruges is offering the production."