Over the past several years there has developed a sort of holy trinity of young actors whose careers I’m watching develop with great glee. Every time any of them come out with a new project, you can count on me being first in line to see what they’ve come up with. These three mythic men go by the names Ryan Gosling, Tom Hardy, and Michael Fassbender. But even a devotee such as me has to admit that the newest project Fassbender has in the works sounds a little odd.
Fassbender and screenwriter Ronan Bennett (Public Enemies) have spent the last year or so setting up Irish Myths through their production company, Finn McCool Films. It’s a story that Fassbender himself will star in about some of the mythical figures from the Irish legends of the 8th century. The series of stories that they’ll be tackling is known as the Ulster Cycle, which tells the tales of the clashes between King Conchobar’s Ulaid tribe and the Connachta tribe, which was led by Queen Mebh. If that sounds like a lot to take in already, just wait, there’s more.
The most prominent figure in these writings, and the character Fassbender will be playing, is Cuchulain, the son of King Conchobar, who is said to have divine ancestry and supernatural fighting skills. In one of this series of myth’s biggest stories, the Cattle Raid of Cooley, Cuchulain has to fight off an entire army sent by Mebh to steal Conchobar’s prized, white bull.
I gotta say, reading the descriptions of these stories leaves me with more questions than it does answers. Is the tone of these films going to be more Clash of the Irish Titans or Irish Troll Hunter? And, I get that these stories are a cultural thing that you probably have to be from Ireland to fully appreciate the significance of; but really? Fassbender is on the cusp of becoming one of the preeminent dramatic actors in the world and he’s spending his time putting together movies where he gets to play ancient action heroes? As always, my faith is in Fassbender, but I have to say that I don’t yet understand what he’s going for with this one. He sure works in mysterious ways. [Variety]