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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 July 2018

Riverdance's Michael Flatley has written, directed, produced and starred in his own movie

'Blackbird' is a spy romance set in the sunny Caribbean

The poster for Michael Flatley's forthcoming 'Blackbird.'
The poster for Michael Flatley's forthcoming 'Blackbird.'

In what appears to be a film with the potential to be the most disastrous vanity project since the John Travolta-produced and starring ode to scientology Battlefield Earth, renowned Irish dancer of Riverdance fame Michael Flatley has produced, directed, written and starred in his own movie, the “coming soon” spy romance Blackbird.

Flatley will have some way to go to match the achievements of Travolta’s much-derided sci-fi adaptation of L Ron Hubbard’s writings. Battlefield Earth has picked up an impressive 10 Razzie Awards since its release in 2000, including a prestigious Worst Film of the Decade gong in 2010.

To be fair to Flatley, we don’t know the film will be terrible. There’s no trailer as yet and so far the only information we have on the film is two posters and a synopsis: “Troubled secret agent Blackbird abruptly retires from service and opens a luxurious nightclub in the Caribbean to escape the dark shadows of his past. An old flame arrives and reignites love in his life but she brings danger with her.”

What we do know is that Flatley has never written, directed, produced or starred in a film before. Of course that’s not conclusive – there was presumably a point in time at which Steven Spielberg had never written, directed or produced a film before and things seem to have worked out pretty well for him, so the jury's out on that one.

We also know that, from the synopsis, the film sounds remarkably similar to a certain Casablanca, save for the Caribbean standing in for the Moroccan Seaside setting of Michael Kurtiz’ 1942 classic. If Flatley thinks he’s found space for improving on that masterpiece of twentieth century cinema, he’s clearly not lacking in confidence in his own project.

The film also stars Patrick Bergin, of Sleeping with the Enemy and Eastenders fame, and Eric Roberts, star of OSN Movies perennial Stalked by my Doctor, so there’s a pedigree of sorts among the supporting cast.

The movie's posters feature the dramatic tag line “Some things are still worth dying for,” which implies that some things aren’t still worth dying for, but doesn’t go into specifics. It also implies that Flatley’s Blackbird will either die, which seems unlikely given the nature of vanity projects, or will put himself in a variety of dangerous situations in which he possibly could die, for a “thing,” which will most likely be love, judging by the synopsis.

With no release date yet announced, and the film reported by IMDB to still be in post-production, we’ll be on the edge of our seats waiting to find out.

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