March has arrived in a rather lamb-like manner, with our peripatetic Irishman averting fictional alien disasters in the south of England, while enjoying visiting the various towns in which he is filming. Things will rev up, no doubt, as Spring progresses and another new project–Death of a Ladie’s Man–begins. So, here is the Byrne-ing News, including great Gabriel content to enjoy at home and new articles about classic Gabriel films. Happy Early Spring to you!

Drama on the set of Zero Zero Zero

From the director, one year ago: PRE-PRODUCTION!

Variety reports:

Production of “Zero Zero Zero” has been delayed by several months as a result of an on-set injury to star Andrea Riseborough, and political tensions in Mexico that disrupted the cocaine drama’s location schedule, Variety has learned exclusively.

Riseborough was injured while shooting last year in Morocco, according to Riccardo Tozzi, founder of Cattleya, the Italian production company behind the show. He declined to comment more specifically on the nature of her injuries or how she sustained them, calling the cause of the injury “something that could happen to you or me,” but said that filming was halted around November of last year and further paused for the holidays before resuming in mid-January.

“ZeroZeroZero” is filming across the globe. Locations include New Orleans, Louisiana; several parts of Mexico; Calabria, Italy; and Morocco. Shooting recently began in Senegal, the last location, with overall production scheduled to wrap in March.

Adding to the production’s delays, according to Tozzi, were political tensions on a local level in Monterrey, Mexico, that stemmed from the country’s general election in mid-2018. Even after the Italian ambassador spoke with the mayor of Monterrey, Tozzi said, the production was ultimately forced to scout alternate locations in the country.

From the director, this month: POST-PRODUCTION!

According to Tozzi, the months-long production delays mean that the series’ release has been pushed to January or February in 2020 from late 2019. Post-production should be completed later this year. Outside of the delays, production has been a “great experience,” he said, adding that the first two episodes have been mixed and edited.

HBO acquired the rights to “ZeroZeroZero” for Central and Eastern Europe and the Nordic markets from distributor Studiocanal. American viewers will be able to watch the series through Amazon, the show’s distributor Stateside.

Gabriel’s work in this series is, as they say, “in the can,” I believe, so no worries for him. We will be patient and wait. Right? The delay gives us something intriguing to look forward to for 2020. This is called making lemonade out of lemons. wink

Hereditary is haunting Amazon Prime USA

So now you have no excuse. One of the scariest horror films ever is currently available at Amazon Prime USA for streaming IN YOUR HOME!

No? Still too scared? Yes. Me, too. But there it is, at Amazon, just waiting for you. Great story. Great acting. Great cinematography. Great HORROR! All the critics agree.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead. Click on it. You know you want to.

And good luck to you!

In Treatment is in session on Amazon Prime

After watching Hereditary, you can then enter much-needed therapy with your favorite psychologist and mine, the always lovely and usually professional Dr. Paul Weston, who is currently providing home sessions via Amazon Prime streaming.

HOME sessions!? All three seasons!? Heck, yes! Let’s do it! Dr. Paul is listening and we are so there for it!

New article: Excalibur

Tom Fordy at the Telegraph UK offers some intriguing insights into this guilty pleasure/cult classic film, with lots of input from Charley Boorman, the director’s son and the young man who brought Mordred to life in the film.

A dream to some, a nightmare to others: sex, magic and myth on the set of Excalibur

By 1980, John Boorman was renowned as one of the toughest directors in filmmaking – the man who went down the north Georgia rapids for Deliverance, sent Lee Marvin to Hell in the Pacific, and put Sean Connery in a bright red nappy in Zardoz.

And deep in the wild forests of Ireland’s County Wicklow, Boorman would command Camelot: an army of character actors and future A-listers – swords clanking and armour gleaming – extras, horses, battles, and practical effects, as Irish rain lashed down, to bring to life a vision of the Arthurian legend he had been trying to realise for years.

The legend has been interpreted many times on film. We’ve had the Disney version in The Sword in the Stone; the silliness of Monty Python and the Holy Grail; the swishing hair of Richard Gere’s Lancelot in First Knight; a macho punch-up in Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword; and now a British teen adventure in Joe Cornish’s The Kid Who Would Be King.

But Boorman’s Excalibur remains the most authentically mythic: epic, romantic, magic, rich with historical and allegorical subtext, and occasionally stark raving bonkers.

Charley Boorman, John Boorman’s son, is now best known for motorbike adventures on TV with Ewan McGregor, but back in 1980 he watched Excalibur from the production sidelines, working as a makeshift squire to the film’s armourer Terry English, and playing the young version of Arthur’s bastard son Mordred…

Read the rest and be happy to see writers and critics still marveling at John Boorman’s achievement! This was Gabriel’s first film and it will always hold a tender spot in our hearts. heart

New article: The Keep

As we know, sometimes the film you set out to make does not turn out to be the film that actually winds up on the big screen. Scripts change. Actors change. Directors change. Money disappears, then magically reappears. Creative differences abound. Many film directors say it is often a miracle there is anything at all in that darkened theater besides the popcorn you are munching on.

And that is the case with The Keep. Meagan Navarro over at Bloody Disgusting gives us some behind-the scenes details on the events that conspired to keep director Michael Mann from realizing his vision. As she notes, we will probably never see what he really had in mind, but we have some of it. And what we do have includes Gabriel Byrne in an early genre role and an amazing soundtrack by Tangerine Dream, so we watch it and wish for more.

The Keep is an early ‘80s horror film that’s never made it to DVD or Blu-ray, at least not stateside, for two big reasons; obtaining Tangerine Dream’s soundtrack rights has proven tricky, and writer/director Michael Mann (Collateral, Heat) has pretty much disowned the film. Mann envisioned the film to be an expressionistic, grown-up fairytale complete with dream-like qualities and a two-hour run time. Poor test screenings resulted in Paramount trimming the film down to a 96-minute run time, against Mann’s wishes, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg of the troubled production that makes The Keep such an odd standout in the catalog of ‘80s horror.

Two weeks into post-production, visual effects supervisor Wally Veevers (Superman, The Rocky Horror Picture Show) unexpectedly passed away, with still hundreds of effects needing to be completed and no one quite sure of Veevers’ original plans for them. Because of this, Mann wanted to re-do the ending, which originally was to be a massive special effects-driven battle between Molasar and hero Glaeken (Scott Glenn). But the production was already over budget and overlong, and Paramount wasn’t keen to grant more money. So, Mann had to go with a much simpler conclusion to his sprawling adult fairy tale…

There’s a lot about The Keep that should’ve worked. An impressive cast filled with names like Gabriel Byrne, Scott Glenn, Ian McKellen, and Jürgen Prochnow, with Mann’s stunning visual style and a story based on a best-selling novel all had the makings for an event horror film. Yet it was Mann’s decision to opt for a phantasmagorical style of storytelling, indecisiveness on the main villain, and massive trimming of Mann’s two-hour film that resulted in a not very coherent movie centered around a not so impressive body-building Golem thing…

Colin James Fenwick has started a drawing of The Keep.
Stay tuned for the finished masterpiece!

21st Anniversary: The Man in the Iron Mask

Magnificent valor indeed. Gabriel’s d’Artagnan will always be our romantic ideal and this film will remain a staple on our Valentine’s Day movie lists. heart

Gabriel Byrne as D’Artagnan in The Man In The Iron Mask

The image above is so lovely, let’s consider that your closing Gabriel Wallpaper, shall we? St. Patrick’s Day is looming, so stay tuned for a little celebration of the Green and enjoy the arrival of Spring, everyone!

3 Comments

  1. Thank you Stella for some blasts from the past and updates on current projects.

  2. Thank you Stella for this updates, I suddenly visited the website to read an old essay to Refresh my Memory about some Details that I missed it and Now happily to Discover the new essay, and about that yes we could be patient but still a little bit upset because I thought I will see Gabriel on TV again this *year* We have such a famous saying Which is : everything that is in time is better.!!❤️

    • Thanks, Ra. We do have Lost Girls this year and it looks like War of the Worlds will air this year as well, so that’s good. Next year, we will have ZeroZeroZero and hopefully Death of a Ladie’s Man. Those are all of the projects he has scheduled at this time. There is one project that seems to be on indefinite hold. But something new is always happening, so stay tuned!

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