EXCLUSIVE: Eternals and American Animals star Barry Keoghan is set to lead new UK drama-thriller Sapphire, from writer-directors Daniel and Matthew Wolfe, and Small Axe and Benediction producer Mike Elliott.
Rising Irish actor Keoghan will play a world-champion snooker player plagued by gambling addiction who escapes to China in search of a fresh start only to become indebted to illegal bookmakers and forced into a mortal dilemma; throw the biggest match of his life or save his soul.
The film is currently in pre-production with filming scheduled for fall 2021 in Taiwan. Bankside Films will launch sales at the upcoming virtual EFM.
Sapphire will mark Daniel Wolfe’s second feature after his 2014 directorial debut Catch Me Daddy, which premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. The drama scored five BIFA nominations and won the Best Newcomer Award at the London Film Festival. Wolfe is also well known for his work in commercials and music videos.
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Oscar-nominated DoP Robbie Ryan (The Favourite) is attached as director of photography. Also producing with Elliott is Tim Nash and Matthew Wolfe of Jelly Roll. Taiwanese co-producer is Amy Ma.
The screenplay is written by Daniel and his brother Matthew, marking their second collaboration together since Catch Me Daddy and their first joint directorial venture.
BAFTA Rising Star nominee Keoghan is on a roll. The Dunkirk, Killing Of A Sacred Deer and American Animals actor will next be seen in David Lowery’s The Green Knight, as Officer Stanley Merkel in Warner Bros’ The Batman, and as Druig in Disney’s Eternals.
Daniel & Matthew Wolfe said: “We’re really excited to bring Sapphire to life, Barry is an incredible actor and really connected with the material… Sapphire will be an operatic and highly visual film. Snooker shot in a dynamic and balletic style.”
Bankside’s Stephen Kelliher commented of the project: “It is an honour to be working with distinguished filmmakers Daniel and Matthew Wolfe on Sapphire. They have created an intensely gripping thriller with great humanity at its heart which they will execute with an abundance of style alongside the exceptional talent of Barry Keoghan in the compelling lead role.”
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