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‘Liath Luachra: The Grey One’ – novel of ancient Irish warrior woman turned into TV show

Fans of ancient Ireland are in for a treat as a novel about a warrior woman could soon hit our screens.

‘Liath Luachra: The Grey One’ by Irish author Brian O’Sullivan is being considered as a a potential television series by Graisland Entertainment.

'Liath Luachra: The Grey One’ - novel of ancient Irish warrior woman turned into TV show

Despite an epic storyline over a thousand years old and familiar to millions of people of Irish descent, few tales from the famous Irish Fenian Cycle have even been successfully brought to the screen before. That may all be about to change however, as Irish author/mythologist Brian O’Sullivan’s unique ‘Liath Luachra: The Grey One’ is adapted for the screen.

Based on the background tale to the female protector and guardian to Ireland’s greatest mythological hero, Fionn mac Cumhaill, Liath Luachra tells the story of a young woman warrior’s struggle to survive in the brutal, male-dominated world of first century Ireland.

One of the few contemporary Irish authors to draw deeply on genuine elements of ancient Irish mythology, tribal systems and language, O’Sullivan has worked hard to ensure the story’s cultural resonance is embedded throughout the engaging plot. It’s those very tangible layers of cultural and historical authenticity that set it apart from almost every other Irish mythology-based novel on the market.

“Since the book was first published in 2015,” says O’Sullivan, “several people have described it as ‘An ancient Irish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. For those who look deeper, of course, there are far more levels to it. Historically, culturally and linguistically, the book is as accurate as I could make it and includes a number of ancient Gaelic cultural concepts and historical elements that most people aren’t even aware of.”

In addition to the novel’s cultural depth, it was the dark action/adventure tone plus the intriguing character of Liath Luachra that first drew the interest of the film/television industry, and Graisland Entertainment in particular. Having read the book, renowned screenwriter Michael Grais was immediately convinced of the story’s potential for the screen. More specifically, Grais was keen to adapt the novel as a television series saying “this medium offers far more opportunity to develop characters and storylines and – over subsequent seasons – to delve deeper into the heart of the ‘Fenian Cycle’ stories”.

This rare merging of storytelling expertise, Hollywood experience and in-depth cultural/mythological knowledge offers the possibility for creating something extremely unique for the screen. O’Sullivan is the first to admit his good fortune in that regard.

“I’ve been very fortunate having this book adapted by a screenwriter as accomplished as Michael Grais. There’s a real fire to him I admire and as a consummate artist who understands the ramifications of cultural resonance, I’m confident Liath Luachra’s story is in capable hands.”

Brian O’Sullivan
Born in county Cork, Ireland, Brian O’Sullivan is an author, mythologist and cultural commentator. Currently based in Wellington, New Zealand, Brian is director of Irish Imbas, a company specialising in the research/analysis of ancient Irish cultural knowledge and belief patterns (‘Irish mythology’). Irish Imbas Books, translates the more workable pieces into narratives and learning material for a contemporary audience.

Since 2012, Irish Imbas Books has been publishing fiction and non-fiction that incorporate strong elements of Irish culture, language, history and mythology. These include the ‘Irish Woman Warrior Series’, the ‘Fionn mac Cumhaill Series’ and several others.

Michael Grais (Graisland Entertainment)
From his association with Steven Spielberg, Grais co-wrote the mega-hit POLTERGEIST and co- wrote and produced the sequel, POLTERGEIST II. Grais also executive produced the film GREAT BALLS OF FIRE (starring Dennis Quaid, Alec Baldwin and Winona Ryder) and co-wrote, produced, and financed the hugely successful MARKED FOR DEATH for 20th Century Fox. Other box office hits written or produced by Grais include Steven King’s SLEEPWALKERS, COOL WORLD (starring Brad Pitt, Kim Basinger, and Gabriel Byrne) and WHO KILLED ATLANTA’S CHILDREN, the highest rated movie of 2000 for Showtime.

An accomplished showrunner in episodic television, Grais oversaw production on 22 episodes of the syndicated series, THE IMMORTAL, produced and directed THE PROMISE LAND (in association with University of New Mexico) as an Internet series for STRIKETV.

Mr. Grais’ films have garnered over half a billion dollars in box office receipts.

Carlos Barbosa (Graisland Entertainment)
Born in Bogota, Colombia and trained as an architect with a Masters degree from Tulane University, Carlos was recruited by architect Charles Moore’s Los Angeles firm of MRY which brought him to Los Angeles where the world of designing for the silver screen became a real possibility and an alternative career.
Ultraviolet, a Roger Corman film project, was Carlos’ first credit as a Production Designer and his hands-on education into film making. Today Carlos’ credits as a production designer include GODLESS, MAGIC CITY, season eight and the pilot of 24 (for which he was nominated for an Emmy), the pilot for TERRA NOVA, LOST, CSI-MIAMI, STUDIO 60, COACH CARTER, THE INVISIBLE, HURRICANE SEASON and many more.

In addition to filmmaking Carlos continues to practice as an architect and has completed projects around the world.

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