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Neil Jordan’s To Tackle Dark Comedy with ‘Skippy Dies’

A fan of book to film adaptations, after previously being tipped to direct Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Joe Hill’s Heart Shaped Box, Neil Jordan has now set his sights on a feature adaptation of Paul Murray’s Skippy Dies, a set in Ireland, dark comedy that will be set up by Number 9 Films’ Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen and James Flynn’s Littlewave Film Productions.

A fan of book to film adaptations, after previously being tipped to direct Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Joe Hill’s Heart Shaped Box, Neil Jordan has now set his sights on a feature adaptation of Paul Murray’s Skippy Dies, a set in Ireland, dark comedy that will be set up by Number 9 Films’ Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen and James Flynn’s Littlewave Film Productions.

From the feedback I’m getting from some book review sites, it appears that Skippy Dies will provide Jordan with a lot to work with. The book, which is actually a trio of novels and over 600 pages in length, works with many genres. Set in a public school in Ireland, this follows the adventures of two unlikely roommates — Ruprecht, a mathematical genius with a penchant for the French horn, and Skippy, whose mother is dying of cancer and who is being abused by the school’s gym teacher. When Skippy dies, Ruprecht performs a slew of wacky science experiments in an attempt to reach his friend beyond the grave. So the picture would have a couple of younger than Cillian Murphy-aged actors taking on the lead teenage roles, which means Jordan film regular Stephen Rea can hope for the gym teacher who likes boys part.

Since the paltry fantasy/crime film offering of Ondine, Jordan is working on the television series The Borgias – a 14th century set story based on Rodrigo de Borja also known as Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia; or more commonly as, Pope Alexander VI.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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