Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Oppenheimer star Cillian Murphy’s next project sounds simply devastating

Ahead of the Oscars, check out Cillian Murphy's new upcoming project 

Cillian Murphy attends the World Premiere of "A Quiet Place Part II" presented by Paramount Pictures
Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
Share this:

Cillian Murphy is the awards darling of the season whether he likes it or not, having taken home the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role in Oppenheimer and being tipped to win the Oscar as well - even though he went viral for looking distinctly bored upon arrival at the first of the glittery events. 

The actor has received widespread critical acclaim for his role in the blockbuster war movie - so what is next for him? The actor is set to star in an Irish movie Small Things Like These, which is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Claire Keegan. So what do we know about the film? Find out here… 

WATCH: Golden Globes 2024: The Highlights

The novel’s synopsis reads: "It is 1985 in a small Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man faces into his busiest season. Early one morning, while delivering an order to the local convent, Bill makes a discovery which forces him to confront both his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church." 

Small Things like These by Claire Keegan
Small Things like These by Claire Keegan

Cillian is assumed to be playing Bill, a man who realises that the Magdalene laundry is darker than he had ever imagined and must decide whether to remain quiet and not disturb his own peace, or step forward to do the right thing. Speaking about the project, he said: "I'm honoured and thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Claire Keegan's magnificent novel to the screen… we have gathered together a phenomenal team of creatives to make this film, and found exceptional partners in AE, a studio led by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck – actors and filmmakers I have admired for many years." 

Cillian Murphy at the 81st Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California© Alberto Rodriguez/Golden Globes
Cillian Murphy at the 81st Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California

The 28 Days Later actor will be reunited with the director of Peaky Blinders, Tim Mielants, for the project, and is set to be joined by Belfast actor Ciarán Hinds alongside War Horse star Emily Watson.

Speaking about the characters, the Booker Prize judges said: "It is the tale, simply told, of one ordinary middle-aged man - Bill Furlong - who in December 1985, in a small Irish town, slowly grasps the enormity of the local convent’s heartless treatment of unmarried mothers and their babies (one instance of what will soon be exposed as the scandal of the Magdalene laundries). 

Cillian Murphy at the 81st Golden Globe Awards© Michael Buckner/Golden Globes 20
Cillian Murphy won the Golden Globe for Best Actor

"We accompany Furlong, and we feel - and fear - for him as he realises what is happening, decides how he must in conscience act, and accepts what that action, in a small church-dominated town, will cost him, his wife and his children." 

cillian murphy oppenheimer premiere uk© Getty
Cillian Murphy starred in the lead role in the hit movie

Claire said about the novel: "I’m interested in how we cope, how we carry what’s locked up in our hearts. I wasn’t deliberately setting out to write about misogyny or Catholic Ireland or economic hardship or fatherhood or anything universal, but I did want to answer back to the question of why so many people said and did little or nothing knowing that girls and women were incarcerated and forced to labour in these institutions. 

"It caused so much pain and heartbreak for so many. Surely this wasn’t necessary or natural?" 

More TV and Film

See more