“Vikings” director and “Game Of Thrones” star are planning an epic series in the footsteps of “Braveheart”

With or without a fantasy element, epic series such as “Game Of Thrones”, “Vikings” and “Barbarians” have become extremely popular in recent years. Now “The O’Neill” is to follow – according to the announcement a “braveheart for television”!

History Channel

The O’Neill is set to tell the story of Hugh O’Neill, who played a leading role in the Irish Rebellion and what is known as the Nine Years’ War between 1594 and 1603. Because he managed to unite the various Irish clans in the fight against the crown.

The series is supposed to start as early as 1560, when nine-year-old Hugh is torn from Ireland, grows up at the English court and becomes friends with the later Queen Elizabeth I. Above all, however, it should be told how the thought of independence for his homeland grows in him and how he finally has to decide as a young man whether he wants to be an English nobleman or an Irish warlord…

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Those responsible for “The O’Neill” not only have a clear plan in terms of content, but also a concrete idea of ​​how they want to implement this story. Your series is designed from the start for a total of four seasons, each with eight approximately one-hour episodes. At an industry trade fair for new series productions, they are presenting the project today in order to find a TV station or a streaming service as a partner. According to the industry magazine Variety it is the largest and most ambitious project to be presented at the fair this year.

Creators with genre experience for “The O’Neill”

The fact that the chances of implementation are considered to be rather good certainly has nothing to do with that the series will be officially pitched as “Braveheart for TV”. and such comparisons with a well-known brand will be happy to help with financing. It also has to do with the fact that the makers behind the project have the necessary experience.

Tim Loane, who has “Versailles” and “Das Boot” in his vita, should bear the responsibility as the author. With Stephen Saint Leger, there is also a man on board as a director who has already implemented similar material with “Vikings” and “Barbarians”. He is to direct the important pilot episode as well as further episodes.

And there’s even an actor already: Aidan Gillen, best known as Littlefinger from “Game Of Thrones”, is already there. Gillen, who is Irish himself, doesn’t play the hero, but does what he does best: embody a bully. As Sir Henry Bagenal, he plays the Marshall of the Irish troops, loyal to the English Crown, and thus becomes the hero’s antagonist – until both face each other on the battlefield.


Aidan Gillen in “Game Of Thrones”.

Like Jack Armstrong, who is responsible for the project as a producer with his company Revolution Media, told the industry magazine Variety revealed that the script for the pilot episode and the so-called series bible for the first season already exist, in which all important information not only about the story but also, for example, with regard to the visual style, as well as the course of action for each of the three following seasons are laid down.

He also points out that the main character had the status of a rock star for large parts of Europe at the time and that the series is also supposed to have a lot of interesting female characters. Since Gaelic Ireland had equality, many tribes were also led by women, so there are many characters to choose from. Among other things, he refers to Grace O’Malley, a legendary Irish pirate of the time who, along with O’Neill, was an important military opponent for the English crown. Like O’Neill today, the “Pirate Queen” is an Irish national hero.

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In addition, Armstrong also promises that the series will not only be “big, ambitious and epic”, but also clearly based on the real events and characters. He and author Loane worked with a historian for months to research everything. Now it remains to be eagerly awaited whether they will find a partner for their project and whether we will then be able to see the series on a TV station or a streaming service in 2022 or 2023.

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