Beyond his work with Christopher Nolan in the Batman movies and "Inception," Irish actor Cillian Murphy's career has been surprisingly low key. He's about to feature fairly prominently as the lead antagonist in Andrew Niccol's "In Time" (formerly titled "Now" and before that, "I'm.mortal") as well as Rodrigo Cortes' "Red Lights" but, other than that, his choices have generally been dominated by more risky, independent fare.
And it looks like that trend will certainly be continuing in the near future with the actor signing on to star in the directorial debut of theater helmer Rufus Norris in an adaptation of Daniel Clay's "Broken" as well as a psychological WWII pic titled "Wayfaring Strangers," written and directed by Stephen Bradley.
Norris' debut was adapted for the screen by Mark O'Rowe and is described as a modern-day "To Kill a Mockingbird" set in the North of England. “It’s about distrust and hatred in a small community," BBC Films Head Christine Langan explained. " It’s very dark but with a note of redemption.” Here's the full synopsis (via Amazon) as described by Norris himself:
Part narrated by Skunk Cunningham, an eleven-year-old girl in a coma, Broken. A Novel tells the intertwining stories of three families who live in a suburban square in the south of England. The Oswalds – Bob and his five daughters – are the neighbors from hell. They lie, steal, cheat, bully and intimidate anyone unlucky enough to be anywhere near them, including Rick Buckley, a geeky but harmless nineteen-year-old boy who lives with his mum and dad on the other side of the square. Humiliated publicly by the Oswalds in the early stages of the novel, Rick descends into madness and becomes the Broken of the title. Skunk, her brother Jed and their new friend Dillon become fascinated with what’s happened to Broken which, in turn, leads to Skunk ending up in the coma from which she narrates the story.
"Wayfaring Strangers," meanwhile, centers on a group of elite British paratroopers captured by German soldiers and held in a remote farmhouse, where a young Jewish couple have also taken refuge. Robert Sheehan is apparently also attached with Sir Michael Gambon, Sylvie Testud ("La Vie En Rose") and Niels Arestrup ("Un Prophet") are also in talks to join what sounds like a interesting little tale. Among others, Lauranne Bourrachot and Marco Cherqui who produced the critically acclaimed crime-epic "A Prophet" are on board the Irish-French production.