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Director Neil Jordan reveals he was "terrified" by the reaction to Michael Collins


Director Neil Jordan has revealed that he was “terrified” by the possible reactions to his film telling the tale of Michael Collins when it was released 20 years ago.

The legendary biopic which was a box office hit in 1996, starred Liam Neeson as the lead and is set to be released on Blu Ray and re-released in Irish cinemas with a remastered version next month.

“It was kind of terrifying because it was a film I wanted to make but to me it was just a film,” he told RTÉ TEN.

michael collins

Terrified: Neil was scared of the reaction to Michael Collins – starring Liam Neeson

The director also revealed that he always knew he wanted Liam to play the legendary Michael Collins, and that at the time of making the film – all eyes were on him.

“I’d known Liam since he was in the Project Arts Centre in Dublin and when I was writing the script initially I spoke to him about it and I said if I ever get to do this I’d like to do it with you,” he explained.

“He went on his journey, I went on mine and I was lucky enough to get in a position where I could get a big enough budget from Warner Brothers to make the movie.

“But for me it was just making a film I’d written 13 years before but when it was announced in Ireland, the whole country was `what is he going to do?! Is he gonna do this? Is he gonna do that?'”

Michael Collins 20th Anniversary screening

Sensitive: Neil revealed the film was released at a very sensitive time | VIPIRELAND.COM

Michael Collins was released in Ireland at an incredibly sensitive time, and Neil admitted that there were questions surrounding whether he should make the biopic or not.

“That’s what made it interesting because it was made around the time of the beginnings of what they call the peace process and actually when I was editing it, Bill Clinton was visiting Ireland and some of the press staff came out to interview me and all that sort of stuff,” he said.

“Michael Collins was made at a very electric and sensitive time and that’s why there were all these justifiable different opinions about what I did but for me as a director, I had to work from my gut. You have to do what you feel.”

Michael Collins will be released on Blu Ray on March 4 and a remastered version will be screened in Irish cinemas from March 18. The film will also air on RTÉ One on April 30.