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Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville to star in Northern Irish production Normal People


- Principal photography will commence in early July on the film directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn, based on a script by celebrated Irish playwright Owen McCafferty

Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville to star in Northern Irish production Normal People
Actors Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville

Liam Neeson (Taken [+see also:
film profile
, Schindler’s List) and Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread, Another Year [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Mike Leigh
film profile
) are set to star in Normal People, directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn (Good Vibrations [+see also:
film review
festival scope
film profile
), which will begin principal photography in early July on location in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The film is based on the script by celebrated Irish playwright Owen McCafferty. It tells the story of Joan and Tom, a happily married couple rocked by the news that Joan has breast cancer. The diagnosis and subsequent treatment shine a new light on their relationship in a tale of love and survival.

Normal People takes an extraordinary look at ordinary love,” say co-directors Barros D’Sa and Leyburn. “It explores big questions and small moments of human connection with unique wit and warmth, and a luminous and unflinching candour. We are thrilled at the prospect of bringing this beautiful, honest and unsentimental journey to life with Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville in the starring roles.” 

Normal People is being produced by BAFTA Award winner Brian J Falconer for Out of Orbit, David Holmes for Canderblinks Films and Piers Tempest for Tempo ProductionsNatascha Wharton for the BFIPhil Hunt and Compton Ross for Head Gear Films and Stephen Kelliher for Bankside Films will serve as executive producers. Head Gear Films, Northern Ireland Screen and the BFI, which is supporting the film with National Lottery funding, are the film’s financiers. Additional finance is being provided by Christopher Reynold’s Newcastle upon Tyne-based investment vehicle CR67 Limited.

Normal People is a project that is very close to all our hearts, and working with Lisa, Glenn, Owen and David has been a constant inspiration to me,” explains Brian J Falconer. “Bankside Films, Head Gear Films, Northern Ireland Screen and the BFI have been wonderfully supportive throughout, and we could not wish for better partners in making this dream project become a reality.”

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