It’s been widely reported over the last couple of years that Irish actor Brendan Gleeson is working on turning Flann O’Brien’s 1939 comic novel At-Swim-Two-Birds into a film. Gleeson took an option on the book in 2004, and has spent years working on the project. In 2011 it was reported that financing had been secured for the project in a deal, sealed at the Galway Film Fleadh, between the Irish film board and backers in Luxembourg.
At the same time there were reports that Michael Fassbender, Gabriel Byrne, Colin Farrell and Cillian Murphy would all appear in the film, which Gleeson told the Guardian was “going to be kind of Wizard of Oz-ish, in the sense that the people who populate the real world also populate the [main character’s] imaginary world. Almost every actor will have two personas. I think film is uniquely suited to this, because you can change worlds in a second. The trick will be maintaining the madness and anarchy of the book while making sure a cinema audience can still follow it.”
Dissapointing news then at the World Actor’s Forum, on the 16th of June 2013, in Dublin, where Gleeson talked about progress on the film:
“At the moment it’s an apple waiting to fall. And I tortured myself – it’s been going on for the best part of ten years, trying to get the thing, wondering who etc and for three solid years I went at it, trying proactively to get it, but I understand now that there’s a certain amount of waiting involved. So it’s an apple waiting to fall, but I’m not shaking the tree anymore. ”