Irish production company Mixed Bag Media has partnered with US outfit The Kennedy/Marshall Company (War Horse, Seabiscuit) to develop a film based on the true story of two Irish boys who stowed away on a flight to New York in a bid to meet The A-Team star Mr T.
Ten-year-old Keith Byrne and his 13 year-old friend Noel Murray took a train to the ferry port of Dun Laoghaire, near Dublin, and travelled to London via Holyhead in 1985. They managed to evade security to board an Air India flight to New York. They were arrested near JFK Airport, igniting an investigation that spanned several continents.
The screenplay was written by Conor Ryan and the project has development support from Screen Ireland.
Don’t Go Far refers to the words of one of the boys’ mothers as they left the house. The boys were huge fans of A-Team character BA Baracus, played by the actor and wrestler. They didn’t get to meet their idol.
“Not only is the story of Keith and Noel’s stowaway adventure almost too incredible to believe, it’s also just the kind of uplifting and inspiring tale I think we could all use a bit more of right now,” said Frank Marshall, who founded The Kennedy/Marshall Company with wife Kathleen Kennedy in 1992. (Kennedy left the company in 2012 to become chairman of Lucasfilm, leaving Marshall as the sole principal.)
Mixed Bag Media, which holds the rights to the story, was established by producer and director Garret Daly. Its credits include a slate of documentaries and short films including A Nightingale Falling.