Film to tell of Bono's classmates who failed at stardom


THE STORY of two Irish brothers who dreamed of rock music stardom and failed, only to see one of their classmates becoming the lead singer of one of the most successful bands in the world, will be told in the new film, I Was Bono’s Doppelganger.

The project, which was announced at the Cannes film festival yesterday, begins filming in August and will be shot in Dublin, Belfast and London.

It is based on an autobiographical book by Neil McCormick, who wrote for Hot Pressmagazine before taking up his present position as rock critic of the Daily Telegraphin London.

Described as “an Irish music-based comedy” by the producers, the film relates the story of how McCormick and his brother Ivan aspired to becoming rock stars in the 1970s, while Bono was in the same north Dublin school, Mount Temple Comprehensive.

When Ivan auditioned to become a member of U2, Neil felt betrayed, so much so that when Bono told Neil he wanted Ivan to join U2, Neil decided to tell Bono that his brother was not interested. As U2 soared to superstardom, the McCormick brothers were reduced to performing in bars and strip clubs.

The screenplay for the movie is by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, who worked on the adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s novel, The Commitments, when it was turned into a film by director Alan Parker.

Neil McCormick will be played by Charlie Cox, the young English actor who starred in the fantasy film Stardust.

His brother Ivan will be played by fast-rising Portlaoise actor Robert Sheehan, who recently featured in the Channel 4 series, Red Riding, and who joins Nicolas Cage in the big-budget adventure film, Season of the Witch, which is to be released later this year.

The cast also includes Romola Garai, Bill Nighy and Pete Postlethwaite.

The executive producer on the film is James Flynn of Dublin-based Octagon Films. The director is Nick Hamm, who is from Belfast.

“This story is close to my heart,” says Hamm. “The thematic journey echoes my experiences and creates a story of ambition, hope and fragile dreams that I am burning to tell.”