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Corkman to make 80m brian boru epic

Thursday, 30th May, 2013 1:00am

A Corkman hopes to make the biggest movie ever made on Irish shores and hopes that it could be as big as the 'Lord of the Rings'.

Mark Mahon is hoping that his planned biopic of Brian Boru, called 'Boru', will secure funding for a €80m budget in the next few weeks.

A graphic novel based on Boru and the battle of Clontarf called 'Freedom Within the Heart' was launched last night in Dublin Castle by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan.

Speaking on TV3's 'Ireland AM' during the week, writer/director/producer Mark Mahon said that he hopes the go-ahead for the film will come soon.

“Effectively we have our first green light and we are waiting on our second green light. Once we get a second green light, effectively it's all systems go at that stage."

He wouldn't reveal any names but it is thought that some well-known Irish actors may be involved.

“Colin Farrell may or may not be making an appearance. Based on the budget, we are going to be using some of the biggest stars in the world, Hollywood A listers,” he revealed. The film will be written, produced and directed by Mark Mahon, while the story will centre on Brian Boru, the king of Munster. He died in 1014 at the battle of Clontarf when his armies defeated the Vikings.

The film will be shot in Ireland and it is thought that scenes will be filmed at a number of high-profile locations in the country, including the Cliffs of Moher. Mr Mahon, from Rochestown has high hopes for the film. “It's probably the mad visions that I have, but I actually think that this could nearly be as big as 'Lord of the Rings'." Depending on the success of the first film he has two more in development.

He added: “As my mum used to say, aim for the stars and land on the flat of your arse!”

Mr Mahon also wrote and directed 'Strength and Honour', which starred Michael Madsen, Vinnie Jones and Richard Chamberlain. It came out in 2007 and was filmed in locations around Cork. The writer revealed the film is still involved in Superior Court litigation in California.

Mark Mahon said that the high cost of the new film was due to it being a historical epic. “Budgets go through the roof because of sets and costumes. When I was growing up, I always had a great interest in history. It's so deep and so vast.

“I grew up in movies and I always loved going to the cinema and this form of escapism and no matter what was happening in your own world you could be quite literally transported into another world. We have such history here, that we should bring this to the world,” he said. 'Freedom Within The Heart' began as a script but was adapted into a graphic novel, together with Atlantis Studios. There are plans for further graphic novels.

“We currently have two other projects on commission, 'Ireland and the Sultan' and 'The Chicago Way', and I believe 'Ireland and the Sultan' will be ready for release at the end of this year, start of next year.”

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