There are a few different ways you might have heard of Irish director John Michael McDonagh: as the director of Calvary, a film that will have its American debut in August; as the director of the excellent and underrated film The Guard, starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle; or as the brother of Martin McDonagh, the man behind In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths. Unlike his brother, John Michael McDonagh has not quite made a name for himself stateside, although anyone seeking out his films is sure to be pleasantly surprised. He’s working on building a name for himself though, and perhaps Calvary or his next feature, War on Everyone, will provide his ticket to American fame.
McDonagh is currently engaged with casting War on Everyone, which already has Michael Pena and Garrett Hedlund attached as two corrupt cops who blackmail criminals. For the part of the real villain, though, the director recently revealed that he was approaching another criminally underrated actor on this side of the Atlantic and Pacific: Australian star Guy Pearce.
Here’s what McDonagh said about Pearce and the role he might play:
>I haven’t actually cast it yet. But it’s funny—I’m not a big fan of actors who do accents, I always think you should get the nationality, if it’s British get a British guy. But there are some actors who’ve got a great facility for accents, and so actually I’ve been talking to Guy Pearce. I’ve found a lot of Australian actors have a great facility for both English and American accents, whereas a lot of English actors doing American accents, it just sounds odd … Australians though, I guess that’s why they can be so successful in Hollywood, people like Chris Hemsworth… So yeah, talking to Guy Pearce. The villain is basically a completely degenerate Lord who takes heroin and sets up robberies, but then he turns out to be a lot darker than we thought and it goes into a very dark area towards the end of the movie. So that would be tonally a trick line to walk.
War on Everyone will be shot in both Texas and Mexico, marking the first time that McDonagh has worked outside of Ireland. While his cast is hardly full of big name stars guaranteed to pack the seats, everyone involved is recognizable and, more importantly, damn good actors. Adding Pearce into that group might prove interesting, to say the least. Having seen McDonagh’s films, I think that America is the poorer for not paying closer attention to him.
The next McDonagh film we’ll get to see will of course be the dark comedy Calvary, which comes to American cinemas on August 1 and stars Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, and Dylan Moran.
We’ll keep an eye on further casting news for War on Everyone as it becomes available.
Source: The Playlist