Cillian Murphy set to star in Wicklow author’s screen adaptation

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Cillian Murphy, who for the last 10 years has played the moody and mysterious Thomas Shelby in Peaky Blinders has been cast to star in the upcoming screen adaptation of Small Things Like These by Wicklow author Claire Keegan.

Keegan, a highly regarded and well accomplished writer has won numerous awards for her previous works and Small Things Like These holds fast to this expectation. It was shortlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize shortly after its 2021 publication by Grove Press. It also won the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, The Kerry Prize for Irish novel of the year, The Ambassadors’ Prize for best Irish novel published in France and is currently shortlisted for a Dublin Literary Award, results of which will be announced next month.


Author: Claire Keegan

Enda Walsh is the man responsible for the screenplay adaptation of Keegans much lauded work. A long time collaborator of Cillian Murphys going back as far as his 1996 Debut in Walsh’s Disco Pigs and later in the movie of the same name where he starred alongside Wicklow actress Elaine Cassidy.

Murphy will once again be in good company as he is joined by Emily Watson most recently of God’s Creatures and Ciarán Hinds, star of Kin. The pair star alongside him to bring the story of Bill Furlong (played by Murphy), a local family man who happens upon a post natal mother huddled in the coal bunker of a local convent circa in 1985. A period when unmarried mothers at the hands of the church were second class citizens at best.

Most of the filming is set to take place in the Wexford Town of New Ross aswell as scenes which will be shot in Dublin.

Speaking with Deadline, Murphy said, “I’m honoured and thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Claire Keegan’s magnificent novel to the screen. We have gathered together a phenomenal team of creatives to make this film, and found exceptional partners in AE, a studio led by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck — actors and filmmakers I have admired for many years.”

Most recently, Keegan’s 2010 novella, ‘Foster‘, has been met with critical acclaim following the adaptation for the screen by Colm Bairéad. The movie was released as An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl) and went on to be Oscar, IFTA and BAFTA nominated. The former being Irelands first International Feature Oscar nomination. Previous works of Keegans including Antartica and Walk the Blue Fields and have also won multiple awards aswell as being translated into over 30 languages.

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Cillian Murphy will forever be a Peaky Blinder but has been delighting viewers on stage for at least 25 years at this stage. His credits include Intermission alongside Colin Farrell, 28 Days Later, Golden Globe nominated Breakfast on Pluto, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Inception and the 2017 blockbuster Dunkirk. He is a multi award winning actor having won multiple accolades for his one man play Misterman in 2011. In 2020, The Irish Times named him one of the greatest film actors to come out of the country.

His work in his latest role of J. Robert Oppenheimer in ‘Oppenheimer’ his co-star Matt Damon has said his performance is phenomenal. In the war time biographical film, Murphy plays an American theoretical physicist said to be ‘the father of the atomic bomb’. Kenneth Brannagh, Emily Blunt, Rami Malek, Robert Downey Jr. Josh Hartnett and Florence Pugh all feature in the star studded affair.

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