A UCD PhD student is set to have his award-winning novel adapted into a film. Kevin Power’s Bad Day in Blackrock, which was published in 2008, won the 2009 Rooney Prize for Literature. Production company Element Studios has bought the rights to the adaptation and hope to begin filming shortly.
As the project is still in the pre-production stages, the film has yet to set a release date, and details of where and when it will start shooting are unknown as yet. Although the cast has yet to be confirmed, Irish filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson, whose work includes Garage and Adam & Paul, is already set to direct.
Power has expressed his hope that, as the book is “about a UCD story”, the decision will be made to film parts of the film on campus, but no formal announcements of filming arrangements have yet been made.
Power had not anticipated that film rights for the book would be pursued, and was surprised when Element Films approached his agent for the rights to make a big-screen edition. Power told The University Observer that the story of Bad Day in Blackrock did not seem “immediately cinematic” when he was writing it.
Power himself is not involved in writing the screenplay in any formal capacity, but has acknowledged his trust in the chosen screenwriter Malcolm Campbell who penned Shameless and Skins. He admitted that the practice of screenwriting is new to him, and that he would find it difficult to adapt his own work, “because you’re so close to the original work.”
The author is similarly untroubled about the movie’s development potentially conflicting with the success of his book, saying that “the book will still be there,” and that “there’s just so much more cultural capital in a film. It’s so much more high-profile.”
The book, which examines the aftermath of the murder of a young man outside of a Donnybrook nightclub and its reflection of upper class Irish life more generally, is Power’s first novel and will be released in the UK this July.