Richard Attenborough has begun helming the long-in-the-works Shirley MacLaine starrer Closing the Ring in Belfast.

Variety says, the romantic drama, from a script by Peter Woodward, is set in Ireland and North Carolina in 1993 and in 1943 during WWII. It also stars Christopher Plummer, Mischa Barton (The O.C.), Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot, The Field) and Peter Postlethwaite (The Constant Gardener).

When a U.S. B-17 crashes near Belfast, a dying gunner asks a local to return his ring to his girlfriend in America.

Half a century later, a man finds the ring, learns its history and tracks down the girlfriend. MacLaine and Barton play the woman in 1993 and 1943, respectively.

The project was announced several years ago but was delayed because of financing gaps.

The picture is lensing at Belfast's Titanic Studios, which is co-owned by Gilbert and his sister Judy Gilbert. Filming will continue in Toronto and is skedded to wrap June 9.