A couple of months ago, it was reported here at Roobla that Timothy Spall is to play the late former Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley in the upcoming film The Journey. On the other hand, the casting of his opposite number, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, was a distant prospect. It’s now time to raise a glass of black velvet though, because Colm Meaney looks almost nailed-on for the part.
Not only is Meaney in “advanced talks” over the role, but the veteran Irish actor was a supporter of Mr McGuinness in his 2011 presidential campaign – surely then, this would be a dream job for the Dubliner.
Fans of flicks such as The Commitments, Far and Away and Con Air will be familiar with the talents of Meaney, who over the last two decades or so has slowly carved himself a reputation as one of the Emerald Isle’s foremost actors. His career has not just been confined to film either, as he has received critical acclaim for his on-stage work and is also well-known for playing Chief Miles O’Brien in the Star trek TV series The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.
So it looks like writer Colin Bateman‘s script will be in safe hands, and will apparently give a fictional account of McGuinness and Paisley’s ‘journey’ where they “take the biggest leap of faith and change the course of modern history”. This isn’t too far from the truth as the pair came from opposite sides of Ulster’s bitter political divide, but in the end struck up such a firm friendship that they were dubbed Stormont’s answer to The Chuckle Brothers.
Now that we are, in Bateman’s words, “so nearly there on casting for ‘The Journey'”, filming should begin in a matter of weeks.