Hollywood A-lister Johnny Depp and Irish actor Barry Keoghan are set to star in a movie about Pogues legend Shane MacGowan and wife Victoria Mary Clarke.
What is the movie about?
The feature-length movie is set to be a biopic on Shane MacGowan and Victoria Mary Clarke’s romance when The Pogues frontman was trying his hand as an up-and-coming singer in the 1980s UK market.
“It’s a love story, it’s not a Pogues film although that will obviously be a part.”
Irish actor Barry Keoghan will play a young Shane Macgowan
Dublin-born Barry Keoghan, who is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, is set to play a young MacGowan in his mid-20s.
The 26-year-old rising star has appeared in films Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer – for which he won an Irish Film and Television Award for Best Supporting Actor – and Trespass Against Us.
His first on-screen performance came when he appeared in Fair City at the age of 18 and then went on to play the “heartless cat killer” Wayne in RTÉs hugely successful TV drama Love/Hate.
From there he starred in the British historical thriller ’71, drama film Mammal, and the 2017 Irish box office hit Black 47, where he played an English soldier stationed in Ireland during the Great Hunger.
Keoghan has the couples blessing to play MacGowan
“Barry is a marvelous actor and I couldn’t think of anyone better to do it,” 61-year-old MacGowan says.
“He’ll do a great job.”
Clarke said she thinks the Dublin star is “an amazing actor”, and would be the perfect person for the role and is “an obvious choice.”
“He’s very luminous, I think. He has charisma too, and that’s important because Shane has got so much charisma,” she told Independent.ie.
“You can see he’s got that tough side, but he’s also sensitive. He’s definitely got something I haven’t seen in anyone else.
“The core fan base are behind him, and I think that’s important as well. People are going, ‘Yeah’.”
However, it is understood that Keoghan has yet to sign a contract.
Johnny Depp’s part in Shane MacGowan movie
In what is a massive coup for the project, The Pirates Of The Caribbean actor Johnny Depp, 56, who has been a close friend of the couple for decades will feature in the movie, according to The Irish Sun.
Depp has been nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Actor and is one of the world’s biggest film stars.
Hollywood A-lister Depp, who has Irish roots through his mother, starred alongside the couple in the video for That Woman’s Got Me Drinking in 1996.
It is thought Depp could play MacGowan in his latter years with Keoghan picking up the mantle of playing the singer/songwriter when he was “around 24 or 25,” the time when he first met the then 16-year-old, Clarke.
The couple have been together for over 32 years and were engaged for 11 years before marrying.
MacGowan’s wife Victoria Mary Clarke has written the script
MacGowan’s wife, Victoria Mary Clarke, has co-written the movie with director Maeve Murphy whose work includes Silent Grace, a story of friendship and survival.
53-year-old Clarke, who is a journalist, a media coach, and a life coach, said MacGowan had been very supportive of her role, giving her free rein to write the script about the couple’s love for each other.
“He’s got a lot of faith in me so he’s letting me run with it,” she told Independent.ie.
“It would be hard for me to do it if I felt he was breathing down my neck.”
She admitted it had been hard writing about their relationship and involved a lot of hard work.
“The thing is, when you’re writing about yourself it’s very hard because you can’t sugar coat it,” she said.
“You have got to be willing to expose the bits that you don’t like.
“After all, we kind of have come through a lot. It’s not a fairytale.”
Clarke already helped pen MacGowan’s biography, A Drink with Shane MacGowan and wrote the book Angel in Disguise in 2007.
Co-writer Murphy says said the project is being moved along as fast as possible.
“We would like it to get going, but I don’t know what the time frame is,” she said.
Producers have yet to cast an actress to play Victoria.
Who are the Irish band The Pogues?
Although technically an English-formed group, The Pogues are one of the most iconic Irish bands of the past 30 years having formed in 1982 at Kings Cross, London.
The first to take a punk ethos and blend it with the traditional Irish sound of mandolins, tin whistles, and citterns, The Pogues brought Celtic flavor to the punk-loving masses and reached international prominence in the 1980s and 1990s.
The band started as Pogue Mahone (“Kiss My Arse” in Irish), but shortened their name to The Pogues, partly due to BBC censorship following complaints from Gaelic speakers in Scotland.
Lead singer Shane MacGowan was born to Irish parents in Pembury, Kent on Christmas Day in 1957 and original band members James Fearnley (accordion), Peter “Spider” Stacy (tin whistle), Jem Finer (banjo) and Andrew Ranken (drums) are all English born while bass player Cait O’Riordan (who joined the band the day after their debut gig) was born in Nigeria, although is of Irish and Scottish descent.
In fact, they faced initial public resistance because they were not seen as Irish.
It wasn’t until The Pogues recorded and performed on the RTÉs Late Late Show with The Dubliners that people came around to them.
More on Irish actor Barry Keoghan
Keoghan and his brother had a very tough upbringing and were shuttled between 13 foster homes during their Dublin youth because their mother was addicted to heroin. She eventually succumbed to the addiction when he was 12, dying from an overdose.
In what was a revealing yet inspiring interview, the actor opened up about his traumatic childhood on Ryan Tubridy’s Late Late Show last year and hoped his story could inspire other young people to take the right path in life even if they are going through difficult times.
Late last year’s industry publication, The Hollywood Reporter, named Keoghan as one of its seven rising TV stars “poised for a breakout in 2019.”
Keoghan has also been announced to play the lead character in the TV adaption of Y: The Last Man, – one of the most critically acclaimed comic book series of all time and will feature in the upcoming Marvel movie The Eternals alongside Angelina Jolie, Kit Harrington, and Richard Madden.
This article first appeared in IrishCentral.com on September 13, 2019. To view the original version, click here.