Summit Entertainment – the studio behind the mega successful Twilight franchise is about to unleash a new comedy from Night at the Museum writers Tom Lennon and Robert Ben Garant titled The Wee McGinty. The film has been described as the “Bourne Identity, but plug in a leprechaun instead of Matt Damon.”
Could it be good? To be sure, to be sure!
Irish culture often gets a rough ride in cinema, with every In Bruges or The Commitments comes a terribly clichéd effort like P.S I love You. John Wayne and Sean Connery have both attempted to bring the Irish blarney to the screen – but even these two cinematic greats would have some trouble beating the plot outline for The Wee McGinty. According to Deadline:
“The height-challenged wish-granter loses his memory, and settles in with a group of Chicago firefighters. That bliss is threatened when he is discovered by his paramilitary leprechaun brethren. Among the pyrotechnics: a wish-off that involves a fire-breathing Doberman.”
Mark Gibson and Phil Halprin originated the screenplay for the film, while Garant has been hired to direct, with Lennon “playing a major supporting role”.
The premise may be a corker, but Lennon and Garant have a patchy cinematic track recorded. Reno 911 has its fans, but the pair have also been behind the aforementioned Night at the Museum (and its sequel) as well as The Pacifier, Herbie Fully Loaded and Taxi (the Queen Latifah effort, not the classic sitcom or the Luc Besson film). Will the pair play it safe and opt for a family-friendly money spinner? Or will they skirt the political “paramilitary” line and cause a furore?
Personally (as an Irish man) I’d like them to go for the satirical edge and offer a film that can play with Irish myth and legend, while also tackling its well-known violent and political past. Its unlikely that this will happen considering Lennon and Garant’s past films and the high concept pitch of The Wee McGinty; however, I’d much rather see a “Wind that Shakes the Shamrocks” than a lacklustre CGI filled clone of Darby O’Gill and the Little People – without the added bonus of a singing Sean Connery. It’s probably safe to assume which side of the creative and commercial divide the film will come down on, but you never know.
Keep reading Screen Rant for more on The Wee McGinty.