Encouraged by the success of productions such as Gladiator, 300 and probably of Spartacus too (although the film is still in the early stages of writing), and after his inspired portrayal of IRA volunteer in Steve McQueen’s Hunger, the German-Irish actor, Michael Fassbender has chosen to return to his Celtic roots.
The 34-year-old actor has teamed up with Irish novelist and screenwriter Ronan Bennett (Public Enemies) to chronicle the adventures of a Celtic legend often referred to as ‘The Irish Achilles.’
Set in Northern Ireland around the eighth century, the film called Irish Myths will track Cuchulainn a member of the Ulaid tribe, and his fearsome encounters with their rivals the Connachta tribe.
Fassbender, happily, will be also playing the titular Celtic warrior.
Cuchulainn a.k.a. Cú Chulainn is an Irish hero from Celtic/Gaelic culture with semi-divine ancestry who also appears in Scottish and Manx storytelling. He was a knight of the 1st century often compared to Achilles in Greek Mythology. Cuchulainn was slain in a fight and like El Cid in later history, was propped up in a heroic pose, spear in hand to strike fear into his enemies even after death, and it was only when a raven landed on his shoulder that his demise was revealed. He was seen riding a chariot, and defending Ulster against usurpers including Queen Medb of Connaught and even appeared to Saint Patrick as a ghost. Cuchulainn‘s appearance is open to interpretation, but he is described as clean shaven, young – he died at 27. Some tales tell he had seven fingers on each hand, seven toes on each foot and seven pupils in each eye.
Not to mention the movie is still in the early stages.
Fassbender who can currently be seen in A Dangerous Method and Haywire is also expected to reprise his role as Magneto in the X-Men: First Class sequel opposite James McAvoy and may team up again with Prometheus director Ridley Scott for his adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy screenplay The Counselor, as well as McQueen’s next film Twelve Years a Slave in which he is already set to star along Brad Pitt.