Cillian Murphy to star in highly-anticipated novel adaptation

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Oppenheimer star Cillian Murphy, who recently won the Academy Award for ‘Best Lead Actor’, is reportedly set to star in Universal’s film adaptation of Blood Runs Coal: The Yablonski Murders and the Battle for the United Mine Workers of America by Mark A. Bradley.

The book, which was released in 2020, follows the murders of the Yablonski family by Tony Boyle, the corrupt boss of the United Mine Workers of America. After Jock Yablonski ran against him for the role, Boyle hired gunmen to murder him. On New Year’s Eve of 1969, Yablonski, alongside his wife and one of their children, were killed at their home.

Chip Yablonski, an attorney and another of their children, was not home at the time of the murders. He then set out to reform the corruption within the union and find justice for the death of his father. Murphy is set to take on the role of Chip in the film adaptation, according to Deadline, who report that Universal completed a “pre-emptive acquisition” for the book just ahead of the Oscars.

Brothers Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth are set to work on the screenplay for the film, having previously collaborated on Edge of Tomorrow, Spectre, and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. A director is yet to be confirmed for the project.

Murphy has already proven his talent for biopics, taking on the titular role in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer last year. Following the creation of the atomic bomb and Oppenheimer’s subsequent guilt, the film was praised for its cinematography, writing, and acting. It received a leading 13 nominations at the Oscars, taking home seven awards.

Since the film was released, Murphy’s performance has enjoyed particular award success, taking home the ‘Best Actor’ title at the British Academy Film Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the Academy Awards. With his experience in period pieces and stories from American history, the Irish actor seems like the perfect casting to take on the role of Chip Yablonski in Blood Runs Coal.

Alongside a busy award season, Murphy saw his latest project, Small Things like These, premiere at Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year. Murphy produced the film and stars as coal merchant Bill Furlong, while Tim Mielants directs.

Emily Watson’s supporting performance in the historical drama has already received acclaim, winning her a Silver Bear at the festival. A theatrical release date for the film is yet to be announced.

Revisit Murphy’s performance in Oppenheimer below.

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