The acclaimed English actor, Alan Rickman, who the Apprentice Boys of Derry wanted to play Colonel Robert Lundy in a Hollywood epic based on the Siege of Derry, has died, aged 69.
Mr Rickman enjoyed a long and successful film career starring in features as varied and successful as Die Hard (1988), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), Michael Collins (1996), the Harry Potter series (2001-2011), Perfume (2006) and Sweeney Todd (2007).
He passed away following a battle with cancer on Thursday, January 14.
One of the best villains in the business - see Hans Gruber, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Éamon de Valera and Severus Snape - it’s a lesser known fact that he was proposed as a potential Robert Lundy by the Apprentice Boys in the late 1990s.
The idea was pitched to Hollywood producers in 1998 with Gene Hackman also suggested for the role of Governor George Walker.
Although the story of the Siege ticked all the cinematic boxes, the project sadly never got off the ground.
It wasn’t the last time Hollywood producers were approached with the idea of using Londonderry as the location for a major film.
In 2014 Hollywood producers were asked to make a film about a Londonderry barman who used to retain the watches of US sailors as collateral for their bar tabs during World War II,
Top film executives from Sony and Columbia pictures were told that ‘The Timekeeper’ was “a fantastic concept” that could replicate the success of Nick Cassevetes’ ‘The Notebook,’ the 2004 box office smash starring James Garner, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling.
Book-to-film scout Mark James of James Literary Consulting wrote to Amy Pascal, Doug Belgrad, Hannah Minghella and Andrea Giannetti touting the prospective film, which is based on a book proposal by author Kevin McDermot.