McDonagh’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Guard stars Brendan Gleeson [pictured], Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly and Aidan Gillen, among others.

Principal photography has begun on John Michael McDonagh’s black comedy-drama Calvary in Co. Sligo, Ireland.

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McDonagh’s follow-up to the critical and commercial success The Guard stars Brendan Gleeson as Priest, a good man intent on making the world a better place who, after being threatened during confession, is forced to confront the dark forces closing in on him. Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Marie Josée Crozé and Isaach De Bankolé also star, alongside well-known Irish stars Domhnall Gleeson, Pat Shortt and David Wilmot.

Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo of Reprisal Films and James Flynn of Octagon Films produce and the film co-financed by The Irish Film Board and the BFI Film Fund. The film will also shoot on location in Co. Dublin and the shoot will last six weeks.

McDonagh commented: “It is with great excitement, bordering on tumescence, that I am looking forward to collaborating once more with Ireland’s greatest actor, Brendan Gleeson, and working with the finest ensemble cast ever assembled in the history of Irish cinema. I would like to thank the Irish Film Board, and the BFI, for their continuing support for filmmaking that seeks to escape from the tiresome, rarefied confines of Dublin 4.”

Protagonist Pictures handle international sales with deals already concluded for Canada (Alliance Momentum), Australia/ New Zealand (Transmission), Middle East (Front Row) and CIS (CP Digital).

Calvary is set for theatrical release in 2013 and will be distributed in the UK and Ireland by Momentum Pictures.