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29-08-01 news
Blanchett to Chase the Dragon...

Lord of the Rings star Cate Blanchett is to begin work on a new film about the life of the late Sunday Indo journalist Veronica Guerin.

The Irish Independent online reported yesterday that Blanchett has been chosen to play the part of Veronica in the production, which has the working title Chasing the Dragon: The Veronica Guerin Story. Many other actors associated with the role in the media have been Jodie Foster and Winona Ryder.

She will come to Dublin in two weeks with director Joel Schumacher to meet people who knew and worked with Veronica.

Both of them will familiarise themselves with the various locations where they will be shooting the film. The movie is being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, who has produced many of the biggest-grossing movies of all times, and his involvement was instrumental in bringing the Disney studio on board with the finance for the project.

Bruckheimer has produced Pearl Harbour, Armageddon, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun and Con Air. Armageddon alone earned more than $500m at the box office. Asked what attracted him to this project, Bruckheimer said that, on hearing of Veronica's death and subsequently reading an article in Q magazine, he knew that Veronica was a special person and felt her story should be told.

According to the Irish Independent following publication of the article, Disney bought the rights to it and then commissioned Hollywood-based Dublin woman Carol Doyle to produce a script. At this stage, because of the abundance of working projects that Disney had, the project was shelved, but with their agreement it was taken on board by Bruckheimer's production company, Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

They had a rewrite done by Mary Agnes O'Donoghue and this script was shown to Joel Schumacher, who straight away agreed to take on the film.

Described in Hollywood as the "actress of the moment", she received an Oscar nomination and Bafta award for her role as Queen Elizabeth in the film Elizabeth.

It was this role that brought her to the attention of her peers. Now Belfast writer Marie Jones is preparing a final script and it is expected that this will be ready shortly.

The filming will start in Dublin in February 2002. Bruckheimer was always anxious that the matters before the courts be completed prior to filming and, now that this is the case, it's full steam ahead for the project which has a target release date of late 2002.

The Independent writes that Bruckheimer is confident that the film will show Veronica as she really was, a courageous woman who fought to expose drug lords who were exploiting the weakest in our society.

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