John Boyega is set to star in IRA thriller Borderland, alongside fellow Star Wars alumni Felicity Jones (Theory of Everything). It will also be a chance to see up and coming talent on the big screen, as both Jack Reynor and Jodie Turner-Smith have been cast in the action-suspense movie. Reynor made an impression as the problematic boyfriend in Midsommar, while Turner-Smith took a leading role in last year’s fugitive drama Queen & Slim.
Borderland follows Michael (Reynor), an Irish paramilitary who witnesses the death of his pregnant wife at the hands of an SAS sergeant named Tempest (Boyega) at a border ambush gone wrong. When Tempest is sent back to London to lead a covert counter-terrorist operation, Michael joins a ruthless active service unit (ASU) wreaking havoc in the capital. For Michael, the mission is personal – to hunt down Tempest – and he’ll stop at nothing to avenge his wife’s death.
The Guard Brothers, who previously worked together on horror film The Uninvited, will direct. They also co-wrote Borderland with BAFTA and IFTA Nominee Ronan Bennett (Top Boy, Gunpowder). The film was inspired by the book The Road To Balcombe Street by Steven S. Moysey, which provides an in-depth analysis of clashes between the London Metropolitan police and the IRA in 1975.
Borderland will be the latest in a long legacy of films chronicling the Troubles and is sure to be fast-paced and action packed. The Guard Brothers have said that the film is a “vengeance-fueled chase movie, fusing some pulse ticking action with a powerful message for our times. We’re thrilled that the script, driven as much by character as it is by plot, has attracted such a first rate cast.”
Chris Coen and Rebecca Brown are set to produce alongside Rocket Science, a production company also working on the upcoming adaptation of Graham Swift’s novel Mothering Sunday. Felicity Jones will be acting as executive producer with her company Piecrust Productions. The film will be shot on location in the UK in early 2021.
According to Deadline, producer Chris Coen said: “It’s been a pleasure working with Rocket Science putting the film together and I couldn’t be more excited to get this prodigious project into production later this year. The Guard Brothers make for a terrific team who are assembling a formidable cast and crew.”
A number of people on Twitter were excited to see actors they considered to be underrated be given starring roles.
Others were thrilled to see that John Boyega is starring, after recently expressing his concern that his career would be negatively impacted by his alignment with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Jamie Dornan and Sam Clafin were initially meant to appear in the project, but this new cast is far more exciting. Unfortunately, it will be a bit of time before the film will be released, as it’s due to be shot on location in the UK in early 2021. In the meantime it might be a good idea to watch ’71, a historical film set during the Troubles in Belfast, with Jack o’Connell as a British soldier separated from the the rest of his unit in the middle of a riot.
Words by Georgie Hughes