Berlin: Pierce Brosnan, Helena Bonham Carter, Gabriel Byrne to Lead Irish Drama ‘Four Letters of Love’
Pierce Brosnan, Helena Bonham Carter and Gabriel Byrne are teaming up for Four Letters of Love, based on Niall Williams’ international bestselling novel. Polly Steele (Let Me Go, Elton John: Tantrums & Tiaras) is set to direct.
Described as a “lyrical and deeply romantic Irish story,” the film will see the trio play parents of two lovers, portrayed by rising stars Fionn O’Shea (Dance First, Dating Amber, Normal People) and Ann Skelly (The Nevers, Kissing Candice, Rose Plays Julie). Cornerstone will handle worldwide sales and distribution, and will commence sales at the European Film Market. The Reset Collective will handle the release in Australia and New Zealand.
The description: Nicholas Coughlan (O’Shea) and Isabel Gore (Skelly) are fated to be together. That is as sure as the sky is blue and the sea is ever-changing. The question is whether or not they will ever find out. As ghosts, fate and the sheer power of true love pull Nicholas and Isabel together, so too does life threaten to tear them apart.
One sunny winter morning, Nicholas’ father, William (Brosnan), believes he’s spoken to by God, changing his life forever. He quits his job and, following divine instruction, redirects all his passion and energy into painting, leaving his dependent wife, Bette, and son to fend for themselves.
Isabel lives a charmed, simple existence on the island, with her father (Byrne), the poet and master of the school, and her wise, intuitive mother (Bonham Carter), until the tragic day her younger brother, Sean, a musical genius, has a paralysing fit while he accompanies her dancing. Isabel, weighed down by guilt, opts to go to school on the mainland, in search of fresh experiences and a chance to forget.
Four Letters of Love is a Genesius Pictures, AX1 Films and Port Pictures production. It is produced by BAFTA Award nominee Debbie Gray (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Mrs. Lowry & Son) and Douglas Cummins (Let Me Go, The Girl), and is co-produced by Martina Niland (Once, Sing Street). With funding from Northern Ireland Screen, the film will start shooting in February in Northern Ireland before moving to the Republic of Ireland.
Williams’ beloved novel was first published in 1997 and was translated into more than 30 languages before he adapted it for the screen. Heads of department include production designer John Leslie, cinematographer Damien Elliot, costume designer Susan Scott, hair and make-up designer Natalie Reid and editor Chris Gill ACE.
“I’m thrilled to be bringing this beautiful piece of work from writer Niall Williams and director Polly Steele to the screen. A seminal piece of Irish literature, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the cast and creative team that have joined us on this journey,” said Gray.
Douglas Cummins added: “Niall Williams’ debut novel is beguiling, and utterly irresistible, and it’s an enormous privilege to be transposing it to the screen so that new audiences can join the scores of existing fans from many countries across the world who have already succumbed to its countless charms and delights”
Cornerstone’s Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder noted: “Irish story-telling is riding a wave of success in the international marketplace, and we’re delighted to bring this beautiful romantic modern classic to the EFM for buyers to enjoy”
Brosnan is represented by CAA, Curtis Brown, Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman and Viewpoint. Bonham Carter is represented by Conway van Gelder Grant and Byrne by The Agency and Paradigm Talent Agency. O’shea is represented by Curtis Brown in the UK and Lorraine Brennan in Ireland and Skelly by Conway van Gelder Grant Ltd.