U2 involved in Jim Sheridan biopic, “North Star”

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2022-05-20)

Variety is reporting that there is a Jim Sheridan biopic in the works and that U2 are involved. The film will be directed by Sheridan himself. The film, by producers Timothy Scott Bogart and Catherine O’Flaherty, along with Sheridan, will be called North Star. Bono and The Edge are in discussions to compose original music for the film according to Variety, and are also said to write and perform the title track. Filming is set to begin in 2023 in Ireland.

“North Star” is a title that should be familiar to U2 fans. During the U2360 tour in 2010, Bono and The Edge would appear on stage to perform a song in progress many nights. The song was performed at 15 shows, including concerts in Europe, Australia, South Africa, South America and the United States. Additionally the song was heard in the film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, however no soundtrack was ever released for that film.

The song was originally developed with Michael W. Smith for the album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and again for the No Line on the Horizon album. When in development with Smith, Smith appeared on the B3 organ, and the song honoured Johnny Cash, and was said to “celebrate The Man in Black’s unwavering, immovable faith”. Only Bono and the Edge are mentioned in the article from Variety but “North Star” started life as a full U2 song. It is not known if one of these earlier developed versions of the song would be used, or if a new version is planned.

The film is said to centre on Sheridan’s life story and will be semi autobiographical. The film will focus on Sheridan’s teen years in Ireland starting with the loss of a younger brother. The film started development under the title Sheriff Street but Sheridan has retitled the film North Star after the hotel his mother worked in. The description of the film shared in Variety reads: “North Star is the coming-of-age story of 17-year-old Sheamie Sheridan who lives with his rough-around-the-edges father and younger brother Frankie. A journey into the heart and soul of a family, Sheamie finds his world turned upside down when a teenage orphan moves in to live with them, revealing the deeper and more complicated problems Sheamie has with his dad; secrets that now threaten to tear the family apart.”

Sheridan was an important figure in U2’s early career. In 1972 he co-founded the Project Arts Centre and the associated alternative theatre company. The venue became a popular performance place for young bands such as U2 and the Virgin Prunes, and they would play a number of times throughout the years. U2 is known to have performed there at the following dates:

Bono has previously been involved in music for Sheridan’s films In the Name of the Father, In America and Brothers. For I the Name of the Father Bono wrote three songs with long time collaborator Gavin Friday, “In the Name of the Father”, “Billy Boola” and “You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart”. He performed the first two titles with Gavin Friday, while the last was performed by Sinead O’Connor. For In America Bono and Gavin Friday wrote the main song, “Time Enough for Tears”, which was performed by Andrea Corr with Friday. In Brothers U2 contributed a new version of their song “Winter” to the soundtrack. Both “Bad” and “White as Snow” also appeared in the film. Sheridan also acted as executive producer of Bloody Sunday to which U2 contributed a live version of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” recorded live at Croke Park.

Many thanks to Andrew for his assistance with this story.

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