Oscar Directors: Jordan, Neil

Neil Jordan is the writer-director of “Ondine,” starring Colin Farrell. The film is being released June 4 by Paramount Vantage.

After writing Night in Tunsisia and Other Stories and the novel The Past, Neil Jordan entered films as a script consultant on John Boorman’s striking EXCALIBUR and soon after saw his screenplay TRAVELLER (both 1981) directed in 16mm by Joe Comerford. His feature directorial debut, ANGEL/DANNY BOY(1982) starred Stephen Rea as the first incarnation of a gunman who would appear in subsequent pictures. After giving a haunting, Freudian revamping to the story of Little Red Riding Hood in THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (1985), Jordan broke through with MONA LISA (1986), an absorbing tale of obsessive love that garnered the director his first real international recognition.

MONA LISA brought Jordan offers to work in Hollywood, such as HIGH SPIRITS (1988), a supernatural comedy distributed in a mutilated version that had little to do with the director’s vision. Neil returned to Ireland to tentatively tackle the subject of mother-son incest in THE MIRACLE (1991), based on his award-winning story Night in Tunsisia.

Jordan then landed the assignment of adapting to the screen Anne Rice’s tricky bestseller INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE.

Jordan’s next project was the story of MICHAEL COLLINS (1996), starring Liam Neeson.

His next project was THE BUTCHER BOY (1997), adapted from the novel by Patrick McCab. That same year saw him tackle the remake of the Graham Greene novel THE END OF THE AFFAIR for Columbia Pictures, winning a BAFTA for Best Screenplay and a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Director. 

In Neil’s subsequent film, BREAKFAST ON PLUTO (2005), Cillian Murphy stars, and in 2007, Neil delivered THE BRAVE ONE, starring Jodi Foster and Terrance Howard.