Cillian Murphy will star in a film adaptation of Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These, Deadline reports.
Keegan’s novel, published in the U.S. by Grove in 2021, follows Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant living in a small Irish town in 1985, who discovers a troubling secret at a local convent. The novel won the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and was a finalist for the Booker Prize; in a starred review, a critic for Kirkus praised it as “a stunning feat of storytelling and moral clarity.”
Murphy, the Irish actor known for roles in films including 28 Days Later, Inception, and Dunkirk, will play Furlong in the movie. Also starring in the adaptation will be Ciarán Hinds (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Belfast) and Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves, Hilary and Jackie).
Tim Mielants will direct the film; his previous credits include the television series Peaky Blinders and The Responder. Writing the screenplay will be Enda Walsh, the playwright and screenwriter whose films have included Hunger and Chatroom.
Murphy and Matt Damon are among the film’s producers, while Ben Affleck will serve as an executive producer.
“I’m honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Claire Keegan’s magnificent novel to the screen,” Murphy told Deadline. “We have gathered together a phenomenal team of creatives to make this film, and found exceptional partners in AE, a studio led by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck—actors and filmmakers I have admired for many years.”
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.