Sarah Bolger to Star in Black Donnellys True-Crime Drama (Exclusive)

Emily Sandifer
Sarah Bolger

The 'Tudors' actress will play a ruthlessly protective mother in the 1880s-era indie film about the gruesome murder of a feared Canadian-Irish family.

Sarah Bolger is set to star in the historical true-crime drama Black Donnelly's, based on the infamous Irish-Canadian Donnelly family and their local feud and grisly massacre in 1880.

Bolger will play the role of Johannah Donnelly, a brave mother and ruthless protector of her children and property while her husband Jim Donnelly was imprisoned. Adam MacDonald penned the screenplay and will direct Black Donnelly's, while Owen Kelly of Antigravity Entertainment and Jonathan Bronfman of Jobro Productions and Morgan Bushe of Fastnet Films will co-produce the Canada-Ireland collaboration.

Production on the indie is set for next year. “I’m beyond excited to be working with Sarah, who is an exceptional performer and I feel is destined to play Johannah Donnelly. When producer Owen Kelly approached me about helming this story, I knew immediately that I had to do it. Being of Irish descent, I feel a deep responsibility to do justice to this harrowing story of Irish immigrants that is full of passion, love, ferocity and history," MacDonald said in a statement.

Bolger is best known for starring as Mary in Showtime's The Tudors. Her other credits include the crime-thriller A Good Woman is Hard to Find, Into the Bandlands, Once Upon a Time, the Sons of Anarchy spin-off series Mayans M.C. and the upcoming indie comedy We Broke Up.

Black Donnelly’s will recount a blood feud involving an Irish family who settled in rural Canada and were brutally murdered by masked neighbors using shotguns and axes. The indie is financed in part by the Harold Greenberg Fund, Telefilm Canada and Ontario Creates.

Mongrel Media will release Black Donnelly's in Canada.

Bolger is repped by Paul Nelson and Jeremy Berney at Mosaic and CAA, which is helping package the indie film. Adam MacDonald is repped by The Characters Talent Agency and APA.