Brosnan, Beresford to bond for ‘Evelyn’
By: Michael Fleming
NEW YORK (Variety) – Pierce Brosnan and Double Jeopardy director Bruce Beresford will bond to make the Ireland-set drama Evelyn before Brosnan heads back to duty as James Bond in January.
Evelyn will begin production Oct. 15 in Dublin, and will be distributed domestically by United Artists, the arthouse arm of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the home of 007.
The drama is based on the true story of Desmond Doyle, who fought a protracted battle with the Irish government to overturn an arcane custody law and with the Catholic church to recover his four children after his wife ran off and he lost his job. The film’s title refers to Doyle’s daughter. Brosnan would play Doyle, and also serve as a producer.
‘It has elements of Erin Brockovich the little guy fighting the system against all odds,’ said Beau St. Clair, Brosnan’s production partner.
The film has long been a passion project for Brosnan, who spent some time under the care of the Christian Brothers order when his single mother went to England to find work as a nurse. She reclaimed him once she got settled.
While late fall starts for films are few and far between, Evelyn came together because separate projects planned by Brosnan and Beresford had come undone, making both unexpectedly available.
Brosnan, who watched A Sound of Thunder stall because of script problems, had the same experience on an adaptation of the Alan Folsom novel The Day After Tomorrow with director Roger Donaldson. Meanwhile, Beresford’s plan to direct Michael Caine in Boswell for the Defense also never got off the ground.
Beresford sparked to the Evelyn material, and Brosnan and St. Clair took it to MGM chairman Chris McGurk. He placed it at UA, with the caveat that the film be completed so that Brosnan would be ready to report for his fourth film as James Bond.
That film, to be directed by Lee Tamahori, is a milestone in the Bond franchise as it marks the 20th film in and the 40th anniversary of the series.
After he directs Evelyn, Beresford is set to direct Reunion for MGM. The picture is a Ghost-type tale about an 1880s couple who lose their daughter but find that another young girl can apparently channel their deceased child’s being.