SPOILER ALERT – THIS POST WAS PUBLISHED ON APRIL 1st 2017
A remake of the classic Channel 4 TV sitcom Father Ted has been confirmed for release on the big screen. And what a cast!!
A-list LA based Irish actor Chris O’Dowd will be returning home to star in the main role so brilliantly played by the late great Dermot Morgan. We can’t wait to see the Bridesmaid star join the Father Ted family. He told LA Confidential – ‘I grew up performing Fr Ted scenes in school in Roscommon. I just hope I can retain the same level of naivety and madness as the original Ted’.
The film story is based around Ted winning the Euro Millions and moving to a bigger house with housekeeper Mrs. Doyle – played again by Pauline McGlynn. How they ‘got together’ remains under wraps but the last part of the film is Ted battling the local Bishop (to be cast) to remain a priest and still marry ‘the only woman I ever changed my bed sheets for’.
But spoiler alert – Mrs. Doyle was married before! And guess who turns up before the wedding? Yes you’ve guessed it – Mr. Doyle here played by Irish actor Brendan Coyle (Downtown Abbey and Paths to Freedom).
The main sets for the two houses on Craggy will be built within the new Troy Film studios in Limerick and outdoor scenes will be filmed on location again in Co. Clare (in and around Ennistymon, Lahinch, Liscannor) where many of us have taken a road trip out to get the iconic picture with the famous house.
One of the writers of the original series, Arthur Matthews wrote the film screenplay alongside Nick Murphy (Moone Boy). Nick has a lot of experience working with O’Dowd in the past. They wrote Moone Boy together and other SKY TV projects such as Little Crackers. Close friends, they are now neighbours in LA and have made queries already about renting large homes in Clare so both families can spend the 8 week shoot together in late summer. Co-writer Graham Linehan has passed on his best wishes but will not be working on it due to other commitments.
Original Fr Ted director Declan Lowney – who also worked with Chris & Nick on Moone Boy – is attached to the project and Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy) is already working on the sound track.
Declan added – ‘It was important to get as many as the old gang back together. Some key people we will miss but you wouldn’t believe the names that have hinted they’d love to wear a collar! We all know that this is a great opportunity to produce an Irish comedy film that will make the world laugh’.
Playing a priest is nothing new for O’Dowd. He played Brother Geraghty alongside Bill Murray 2 years ago in St Vincent.
A few weeks ago John C Reilly told RTE Entertainment that he wanted an Irish Passport and it looks like he’s making a serious effort to get it. He is favourite to take on the role of Fr Jack played so eloquently by the late Irish legend Frank Kelly. He has a lot to live up to but we can’t think of a better man for the job.
There are a few Irish actors and comics more than anxious they get the call. Tommy Tiernan, Pat Shortt & Jon Kenny memorably stole scenes across the series and what about Jason Byrne (soccer ref), Brendan Grace (Fr Stack), Joe Rooney (Father Damo), Michael Redmond (Fr Stone) and Patrick McDonnell (Fr Eoin McLove) who all starred in various episodes? The latter trio have been performing around Ireland in recent years in their Father Ted Comedy Special nights.
But sadly it looks like Ardal O’Hanlon (Dougal) will not be involved. He is taking over from Kris Marshall in BBC’s Caribbean detective series Death in Paradise that films in Jamaica all through summer. Rumour is that Dylan Moran has been approached but the bets are on Dublin born Game of Thrones star Aidan Gillen – watch this space.
One thing we are all wondering, will Graham Norton aka Fr Noel Furlong make a guest appearance?
‘Father Ted – The Movie’ (w/t) opens in Ireland in May 2018 and produced by Pallis Roof Productions with Channel 4 Films; Irish Film Board; Ikon Pictures (LA) and the support of incentives for the Irish Film Industry provided by the Government of Ireland.
Credit – LAC / writer Al Ellis
(spot the anagram clues in the story? Pallis Roof / April Fools & Al Ellis / All Lies)
Here’s scene from the Ch4 Xmas Special