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Sam Riley Joins Neil Jordan's 'Byzantium' Starring Gemma Arterton & Saoirse Ronan

by Simon Dang
November 29, 2011 9:39 AM
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Sam Riley Byzantium

Seventeen years after tackling the vampire flick "Interview With A Vampire," Irish writer-director Neil Jordan is now returning to the genre that has a newfound popularity, with an upcoming female-led story that has two of the biggest rising thespians across the pond in Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan already attached to star. Titled "Byzantium," the film has now also managed to add another promising talent in the form of Brit actor Sam Riley to its ranks.

No word yet on exactly what role Riley will take in the film but it makes for another interesting move for the former 10,000 Things frontman who broke out with Anton Corbijn's "Control." His films since have haven't exactly made a mark ("13," "Franklyn," "Brighton Rock") but with this and the role of Sal Paradise in Walter Salles' "On The Road," things are looking a bit more positive.

Scripted by Moira Buffini, who herself has been involved with the dreadful ("Tamara Drewe") to the sublime ("Jane Eyre"), "Byzantium" will follow a mother (Arterton) who, when turned into a vampire, converts her own daughter (Ronan) into a bloodsucker as well, with the two going on to form a deadly pairing, occasionally posing as sisters. Caleb Landry Jones ("X-Men: First Class") is also a part of the cast alongside Bradley Jones and Daniel Mays.

Lensing has obviously been delayed from its originally planned October start but will take place in Dublin and Wicklow next month. Alan Moloney and Stephen Wooley are producing with backing from the Irish Film Board. [THR/Cineuropa]

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More: Sam Riley, Byzantium, Neil Jordan

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  • jingmei | November 30, 2011 3:13 AMReply

    This is just awesome. I like both the director and the amazing cast.

  • Kintaro.west | November 29, 2011 8:49 PMReply

    Do we really need another fucking vampire movie? I like the folks involved in this one....but come on! Fuck a vampire flick!

  • Jill | November 29, 2011 10:59 PM

    Then why does it matter if the people involved are good? It's a Neil Jordan production, supposedly it's his bread & butter genre, with a very promising screenwriter. If any genre that needs "heart surgery" it's the vampire genre after the Twilight Saga. Recycled ideas are a bore, I agree, but it's all in the vision and execution. Neil Jordan is one of the best doctors around to pull it off.

  • Nita | November 29, 2011 4:12 PMReply

    lol who in the world in "Bradley Jones"? There is so such person attached to this project.

    You should double-check your sources before posting this stuff.

  • Jill | November 29, 2011 2:10 PMReply

    Tamera Drewe was a bit of fun. To say it was dreadful and link it to Buffini is doing her a disservice since the story and dialogue itself wasn't awful, but the execution was less than admirable which rests on the director. So in my book Buffini is 2 for 2 alongside Jane Eyre (who's sublime partially because of Cary Fukunaga, again the director's work).

    Does anyone know why the October start date for Jordan's film was delayed two solid months? I read in a snippet, back in late September, that Arterton stated that she was heading over to Dublin in October to start principle photography, so I'm wondering why the hold up. Cast not set? Crew not picked out yet? I would assume so since the project was announced in Cannes this past summer. I guess it's best for the project to get things right before shooting - no need to rush into it.

  • Mike | November 29, 2011 12:15 PMReply

    Great choices with Riley & Ronan, but why does Gemma Arteron keep getting work? She's dreadful outside of appearing briefly as a Bond girl in Quantum of Solace, vapidity works there.

  • Saoirsemaniac | November 29, 2011 11:23 AMReply

    I love Saoirse Ronan. I do hope she changes makeup to look younger. Put some curl in her hair. Lighter those eyebrows and lighten or remove the eye liner. I can hardly wait for the movie.

  • scastagnoli | November 29, 2011 7:33 PM

    Your Comment @Saoirsemaniac Why don't you check out the Saoirse board at IMDB?

  • gonad | November 29, 2011 10:44 AMReply

    Ondine was a gem, and Jordan has a really cool lyrical style, so I'm down for this. Giggity goo.

  • SAOIRSEMANIAC | November 29, 2011 8:11 PM

    I checked it. Great place. Thanks.
    I wish I could hear her say her name about 5,000 times. I've heard it in too many different ways.

  • Clark | November 29, 2011 9:48 AMReply

    BOoo!! come'on, Tamara Drewe was enjoyable. Anyways, really liked all the players involved in this one, hope its great.

  • scastagnoli | November 30, 2011 6:29 PM

    Your Comment @Saoirsemaniac Glad you did. I hope to see you participate in the future.

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