Ron Howard is likely still hard at work putting the finishing touches on his latest directorial effort, the true story-based racing drama Rush, but that hasn't stopped him from continuing putting pieces together for his next project. The filmmaker first signed on to direct the whaling drama In The Heart of the Sea back in January with Rush star Chris Hemsworth in the lead. Earlier this week he signed Dark Knight trilogy star Cillian Murphy to join the cast as well, and now there's word that the production has added two more Irish actors.
Empire has learned that both Brendan Gleeson and Sam Keeley have been enlisted to star in Howard's next movie. Based on the book by Nathaniel Philbrick, the story is set in 1820 and follows the crew of a whaling ship off the coast of Nantucket that winds up being destroyed " by a vengeful sperm whale." Twenty of the men aboard the ship were able to survive the attack and get away on a lifeboat, but after a long time out at sea they were forced to resort to cannibalism. It was previously announced that the movie will also feature Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter star Ben Walker and The Impossible's Tom Holland.
The site says that Gleeson will be will be playing one of the older members of the crew and one of the survivors, suggesting that the movie could have a framing device that has the character been interviewed by Herman Melville as part of research for Moby Dick. There is little information available about Keeley's character outside of the fact that he will be one of the crewmen on the ship when it is attacked.
An up-and-coming actor, Keeley made his acting debut in a 2010 episode of the British series Misfits and previously starred alongside Sean Penn in the revenge dramedy This Must Be The Place. He most recently had a recurring role on the fourth and fifth series of the Irish TV drama Raw.
After a big 2012 that included the release of Safe House, The Raven, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Gleeson hasn't been seen much on the big screen this year - but that will soon change. He will soon be seen in the animated sequel The Smurfs 2, but also has the John Michael McDonagh religious dramedy Calvary coming up (though the latter doesn't currently have a U.S. release date. He was most recently featured alongside the likes of Robert Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nole, Chris Cooper and more in The Company You Keep, which got a limited release back in April.
And just to remind you of how great Brendan Gleeson is, below you'll find the Oscar winning short film Six Shooter, which was written and directed by In Bruges' Martin McDonagh.