Brendan Gleeson joins 'The Guard'

John Michael McDonagh's Irish-set comedy thriller

LONDON -- Brendan Gleeson is teaming up with "Ned Kelly" scribe John Michael McDonagh to star in McDonagh's "The Guard," an Irish-set comedy thriller also featuring Don Cheadle, Mark Strong and Liam Cunningham.

Gleeson joins the movie as it begins shooting on location in Ireland.

It details the story of an unorthodox Irish policeman (Gleeson) who joins forces with a straitlaced FBI agent (Cheadle) to take on an international drug-smuggling gang.

Gleeson's character is billed as a small-town cop with a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humor, a dying mother, a fondness for prostitutes, and absolutely no interest whatsoever in the international cocaine-smuggling ring that has brought FBI agent Wendell Everett to his door.

Written and directed by McDonagh the film also stars Fionnuala Flanagan, David Wilmot, Rory Keenan, Pat Shortt and newcomer Katarina Cas.

The film is produced by Reprisal's Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo and Element's Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe and executive produced by Martin McDonagh, Don Cheadle, Lenore Zerman, Tim Smith, Paul Brett, Ralph Kamp and David Nash.

A Reprisal Films and Element Pictures production, it is backed by Prescience finance, Aegis Film Fund, U.K. Film Council and Crescendo Productions and the Irish Film Board. International sales are being handled by Metropolis Films and the film will be released by Optimum Releasing in the U.K. and Element Pictures Distribution in Ireland.