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James Flynn, ‘Banshees of Inishrin’ and ‘Vikings’ Producer, Dies at 57



Irish film producer James Flynn, co-founder of Metropolitan Film Productions and co-producer on the Oscar-nominated The Banshee of Inisherin, had died. He was 57.

Flynn died on Saturday morning due to an unknown illness, his production company said The Irish Times in a statement. He was surrounded by his family, wife Juanita Wilson and children Alex and Anna.

His death comes amid a successful awards season The Banshees of Inisherin and the film’s Oscar run, with the Martin McDonagh-directed starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson film up for nine honors, including best picture.

Flynn has served in various producing capacities on a number of notable movies and TV series across his nearly 30-year career. Among his more recent films are the Ridley Scott-directed and Ben Affleck and Matt Damon-starring and written The Last Duelthe Disney+ released sequel Disenchanted and Neil Jordan’s mystery-thriller Greta led by Isabelle Huppert. On the TV side, he served as an executive producer on episodes throughout all three seasons of Vikings spinoff Valhalla and in the RTE and AMC+ Irish crime drama Kin, starring Charlie Cox, Aiden Gillen and Ciarán Hinds.

Flynn, whose work has helped elevate Irish filmmakers and actors in the US through various domestic and international co-productions, was working at the Investment Bank of Ireland before he entered the Irish film industry as head of development at John Boorman’s Merlin Films International.

Between 1993 and 1997, he served as the business manager of the Irish Film Board, analyzing movies and TV dramas for development and production finance loans. During this time, he’d produce Angela’s Ashes and another Gleeson-starrer Sweety Barrett for the big screen and TV movies like Her Own Rules and A Secret Affair alongside the series Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog. He would later serve on the board of Screen Training Ireland between 1995 and 2000.

In 1997 he’d launch Metropolitan Film Productions Limited with wife Wilson before establishing Octagon Films in 2002, where he would develop and produce films for the international market. That included the 2004 Irish comedy Rory O’Shea Was Herestarring James McAvoy and Steven Robertson.

A member of the Irish Film and TV Academy, Flynn produced a number of IFTA-winning series including Vikings, Penny Dreadful, Kin and Love/Hateas well as the IFTA-nominated movie Tomato Red: Blood Money. He would garner Oscar nominations for his work on the 2008 short film The Door and the 2009 animated feature The Secret of Kells.

More to come.

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