ScreenDaily is reporting that British musician and video director Kevin Godley intends to direct The Gate, a new film based on Hollywood legend Orson Welles’ formative years in Ireland.
The film begins in 1985, Welles’ final year, with him reminiscing with some regrets about his time in Ireland. Welles had travelled to Ireland as a teenager, following the death of his father, and made his professional acting debut at The Gate Theatre on October 13, 1931, appearing in Ashley Dukes’s adaptation of Jew Suss as Duke Karl Alexander of Württemberg. He continued to have strong ties to Ireland throughout his career, including makes a short film with The Gate co-founder Hilton Edwards and Micheal MacLiammoir called Return to Glennascaul in 1951.
The film will be the feature debut of Godley, who also wrote the script and will oversee music. Goldley is best know as the drummer of the art rock band 10cc and for his collaboration outside the band with Lol Creme. He has also directed numerous music videos for artists including Wet Wet Wet, Bryan Adams,U2, Paul McCartney, Sting, Blur, Phil Collins, Boyzone, Alabama 3, The Corrs, Katie Melua, Keane, Snow Patrol, and Elbow. He currently resides in Wicklow, having moved to Ireland in 2008.
The filmmakers intention is to shoot in the west of Ireland and Dublin, mirroring Welles’ own experiences. They also hope to work closely with The Gate Theatre. Historically The Gate has been reluctant to open its archives when Irish filmmakers have attempted to try tell this story in the past.
For me Ireland was Welles’ personal Rosebud. His own lost innocence was buried under a contradictory lifetime of achievement and diminishing returns so I want the audience to feel that loss from the beginning.
Kevin Godley, Writer/Director
The Gate will be produced by Laura De Casto and Andrew Bentley who will attempt to raise finance for the film at Cannes. The Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. awarded €12,000 in screenplay development funding to Godley in late 2016. No Irish producers or production company were attached at that point, nor have any been mentioned as of yet.
This is a passion project for Kevin. If you know Kevin’s music videos, you will know that in a number of them, he pays homage to Orson Welles. He is a real Orson Welles aficionado.
Andrew Bentley, Producer