Variety, the Irish Film Television Network, and a ton o’ blogs are reporting that Parallel Films has green-lighted the long-awaited project At Swim-Two-Birds, based on the book by Flann O’Brien, as well as a new vehicle for Liam Neeson.

Variety [this article is no longer available]:

First up is an adaptation of Irish author Flann O’Brien’s seminal metaphysical novel “At Swim-Two-Birds.” Irish thesp Brendan Gleeson will make his directorial debut with the pic, a coming-of-age tale about a 19-year-old student who sees the fictional characters in the play he’s writing intertwining with the people in his life. Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy and Gabriel Byrne have all boarded the $11 million project. Gleeson adapted the book for the screen and will also co-star.

The film is in “the money hunt” stage and filming has not yet been scheduled.

We probably have time to read the book, folks, so let’s get cracking!

UPDATE: Cake Man over at the Screenwriters League has this to say:

The idea isn’t what caught me about this (though it is vaguely similar to something that a Leaguer was working on). No, what I’m most interested in is the cast. Not only is Brendan Gleeson near the top of my list of actors I want to work with (alone, Gleeson as writer, director, and star will get me in), but with Farrell, Cillian Murphy (another one I’d love to collaborate with), and Gabriel Byrne all also attached, it’s a virtual who’s who of Irish actors. Add Liam Neeson, and it might be overload.

I’m certainly going to keep a close eye on this one. It’s proof for me what a great cast [can] do to attract people to an idea that might not at first be wholly riveting.

I’d rather collaborate with Mr. Byrne myself, but Cake Man is right. This is a difficult book. The cast can bring a lot of people to the project who might otherwise have been cold to the idea.  I’m off to buy my copy now!

UPDATE: Discussion of the book will take place in the Forums. Join up and come on over for some lively talk! smile

At Swim Two Birds actors


  1. Whaddya mean – “So many Irishmen”?? Surely, there can Be Only One :-D I love that picture of him. Do you think it was taken at the Gregory Peck Awards last year?

  2. You have to admit that’s a stunning line-up of gentlemen from Eire! But yes. There can be only One. I mis-spoke. I believe that pic is from the Wah Wah premiere, but I’ll have to check. So glad ASTB is going to fly. This is great news!

  3. twomoons

    Yes, however it a long way from this stage to seeing it in cinemas and funding for films has dried up lately. I have my fingers crossed tha this won’t be 3 to 5 yrs to release!

    Regardless, let’s start an online book club and read the book by a certain date, then get on here to talk about it. What do ya think?

  4. Count me in for the book club. There is a thread at the Forum about Books already. We can jump over there. I’m buying it now (sorry to say I don’t own it yet!).

  5. I can see that the book was translated into Norwegian in 1998!

    O’Brien, Flann
    På svøm-to-fugler / Flann O’Brien ; oversatt av Bjørn Alex Herrman og
    med etterord av Robert Ferguson. – [Oslo] : Bokvennen, 1998. – 262 s.
    – (Klassikerserien moderne tider ; 34). – (823[S])
    Originaltittel: At Swim-two-birds. – Flann O’Brien er psevdonym for
    Brian O’Nolan
    ISBN 82-7488-090-0 (ib.) : Nkr 345.00

    As you (maybe) can see from the (Norwegian) post from my library the real name of the author is Brian O’Nolan.

    I think I will read the book in English, and order it today.

  6. I am absolutely 100% up for the book club idea, please count me in. I’m reading ASTB at the moment.

    In fact, there are lots of books I’d love to discuss in depth with you guys. Everything from Raymond Carver to ‘Night Train To Lisbon’

  7. OK, let’s fly with the “Gabriel Byrne Book Club”; homebase to be at Byrneholics!! Stella et al, you have done such a great job and this is really the best place for it. If it drags more of the loyal HBO gang over here, then all the better. I’m sure things will creap onto that site, and we can always send each other to either site or copy/paste some intriguing comment(s). But if a core group of us stay here, that would work best, I think.

    For those who are just buying it, we can wait a few weeks, then set a date. I will need all the time I can get cause I only manage to read a few pages of anything in the evening, and then the eyes go south on me. I just retrieved it from my library, and will get started tonight, but I have The Wishing Year on the go, and want to get it done soon.

    I have read NTtoL, and would be very happy to discuss/review it after this one. Funny thing is that I left my book group because I felt that I wanted to explore more Irish/English literature, including poetry and the classics, and try to explain that to a group who has no idea what was motivting me!!

    Good night all. Crazy night raising teenagers has gotten the better of me!

    TwoMoons (also a GREAT book you all have to read)

  8. Thanks for using Rama’s SCREEN as a source :)
    feel free to visit anytime for the latest movie headlines

  9. Count me IN! I just bought it at Amazon and it will be here in a couple of days. I’m ready to start reading. Doing a little background research on it now (well, what can I say, I’m a librarian after all) and am well intrigued! If we stick together, I think we can make our way through it and have fun on the journey.

    Ok. I just set up a new forum called The Book Club and a subforum in it called At Swim-Two-Birds. These are under the For the Fans category in the main Forum. I started a topic thread too. I’ve been busy and I don’t even have the book yet! Woo hoo. Looking forward to some grand discussions!

  10. billyBOO

    hi guys.. About the ASTB, im still searching for it all around the bookstore here(brunei darussalam) and it seems like around next two weeks till i get my hands on it! So can you all please give me some time before you guys start to do anything.. But if you all think thats gonna be troublesome for u all, just continue without me, alright? Btw, you all are welcome to add my email (removed by admin for privacy purposes). I need someone to talk to anyway about gabriel. All of my friends at school think im weird for loving him. They just cant understand it.

  11. billyBOO, I sent you an email about joining the Byrneholics Forum. Looking forward to chatting with you in the Forum! Stella :-)

  12. BillyBoo you’re in good company here as far as liking Gabriel Byrne is concerned.

  13. Argh!! ASTB sucks…does Gabrirel have any idea how much we think of him? If not, we are proving it RIGHT now, sticking to that damn book!!! I thought JOyce’s Portrait of an Artist was bad…

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