Irish Locations Double for Victorian Period UK Setting on The Professor and the Madman, Set for Release Later this Year
The Professor and the Madman, starring Mel Gibson and Sean Penn, is set for release later this year, following an eight-week Irish shoot around Dublin city which began in September 2016.
Based on Simon Winchester’s best-selling historical novel about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, the rights to the film were acquired to Gibson nearly two decades ago. Written and directed by Farhard Safinia, the film sees Gibson portraying Professor James Murray, who in 1857 undertook the creation of the famed dictionary. Penn plays Doctor W.C. Minor, an associate of Murray’s who was responsible for over 10,000 entries in the dictionary, whilst also living as an inmate in Broadmoor insane asylum.
Gibson previously filmed scenes from Braveheart in Ireland in 1995 while Penn worked with Italian director Paolo Sorrentino to film scenes for This Must Be The Place in Dublin back in 2010. Gibson has a long-held association with the country as his mother was born in Ireland and the Australian actor received the IFTA for Outstanding Contribution to Cinema in 2008.
The Professor and the Madman boasts a strong Irish creative team production with designer Tom Conroy, costume designer Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh and location manager Gordon Wycherley all on board. The film will showcase up-and-coming local Irish acting talent such as Rob McCormack, Abigail Coburn, Zoe Moran, Phonsie Wardell, and Nora Cooper all starring alongside English actress, Natalie Dormer.
The Professor and the Madman received creative co-production funding from the Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and on the ground locations support from the IFB inward production team. The film is produced by Icon Productions and Fastnet Films in Ireland, with international sales being handled by Voltage Pictures.