Liam Neeson is set to showcase a new set of skills in his latest film as legendary private eye Philip Marlowe.
This Ballymena man will emulate Hollywood icon Humphrey Bogart, who played the famous shoe in 1946’s The Big Sleep.
Marlowe was created by Raymond Chandler, who was at the forefront of “gritty detective” fiction.
The character has been iconic in cinema over the decades, with James Garner playing the role in 1969, Elliott Gould in 1973 and Robert Mitchum in 1975.
Neeson joins their illustrious ranks with the upcoming Marlowe, a crime thriller based on Irish writer John Banville’s 2014 The Black-Eyed Blonde, which was commissioned by the Chandler estate.
Banville actually chose to publish the story under the name Benjamin Black, the identity he adopted for a series of detective novels with Quirke, an Irish pathologist from the 1950s.
The book synopsis reads: “Incomparable private eye Raymond Chandler is back, lured by a seductive young heiress into the most difficult and dangerous case of his career.”
A brief synopsis of the new film states: “Set in late 1930s Bay City, a down-on-his-luck Marlowe is hired to track down the ex-lover of a glamorous heiress (Diane Kruger), daughter of a movie star. star (Jessica Lang)’.
Irish actor Colm Meaney, who won the Ifta Award for Best Actor (Irish Film and Television Academy) for his portrayal of Martin McGuinness, joins Neeson in the star-studded cast.
Directed by Oscar winner Neil Jordan, it hits theaters next month.
Meaney and Neeson also recently wrapped filming on The Land Of Saints And Sinners.
Before this thriller, filmed in Co Donegal last year, the pair hadn’t worked together for four decades, with their last stint at the Abbey Theater in Dublin.
Marlowe had its world premiere in September as the finale of the 70th San Sebastian International Film Festival. It marks Neeson’s 100th film, and the 70-year-old shows no signs of slowing down.
He has three other projects in post-production and will appear in The Expendables 4, due out this year.
In the latest trailer for Marlowe, Neeson’s voiceover reveals that people are paying him to look for the “best citizens” of Los Angeles.
Fans of the actor were quick to comment below the short video online.
One social media user posted: “This looks perfect for Liam. It has a certain portrayal of a character that is smooth. A detective in this day and age would be amazing with him!”
Another said: “Liam Neeson never disappoints… This guy is a living legend.”
Some are already expecting the film to be part of a franchise and are hoping for at least three films in a row if the first one proves successful at the box office.
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