DANIEL DAY-LEWIS and Steven Spielberg have expressed an interest in making a movie about Daniel O’Connell, according to Ireland’s Minister for Arts.
Speaking at the revived Daniel O’Connell Summer School in Co. Kerry, Minister Jimmy Deenihan said that Spielberg had become inspired by O’Connell’s story while researching Lincoln, starring Day Lewis.
He added that the Hollywood director had told him that he and Day-Lewis had already discussed making a movie about the Irish lawyer who campaigned and won Catholic emancipation in Ireland.
Deenihan hopes to follow-up discussions about the project with Spielberg and Day-Lewis in the United States during his November visit.
He said, “I certainly think there is a major film in O’Connell – I recently met Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis and I mentioned O’Connell to them and gave them Professor Patrick Geoghegan’s book on O’Connell and they had already discussed it before I mentioned it which is very encouraging.
“Nothing is certain but the success of Lincoln makes a stronger case for O’Connell who was a friend of Frederick Douglas, who was an influence on Lincoln – it would have an international appeal given O’Connell’s role in the anti-slavery campaign as well as in both Jewish and Catholic emancipations.
“Hopefully something will come of it because O’Connell is certainly a figure worthy of a major film treatment.”