Martin McDonagh talks Three Billboards follow-up The Banshees of Inisherin: "This film isn’t that"

The Banshee of Inisherin
(Image credit: Searchlight)

In 2017 writer-director Martin McDonagh had the biggest hit of his career with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a film that grossed $160m on a $15 million budget, made a splash at the Oscars, and resonated at the dawn of the #MeToo era.

"This film isn’t that," a frank and cheerful McDonagh tells Total Film in the latest issue of the magazine, headlined by Halloween Ends. We're discussing his exciting upcoming movie, The Banshees of Inisherin. 

"It’s an interesting slow-burner," he continues. "I didn’t want it to be showy or cool. Mostly, I didn’t want to disappoint In Bruges fans with a follow-up."

The Banshees of Inisherin isn’t In Bruges 2 either, but it does reunite that film’s odd couple – Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson – as pals Pádraic and Colm respectively. One day Colm abruptly informs Pádraic that he no longer wants to be friends, and that every day Pádraic utters a single word to him he’ll sever one of his own digits with a pair of shears – an ultimatum that leads the pair down a dangerous path. 

Describing the essential element of the story as "a simple break-up that’s not understandable on behalf of one of the people", McDonagh may center Banshees on a male friendship, but the feelings of rejection, resentment, confusion, and guilt he taps into are universal. "I’ve tried to be truthful to both parties in a break-up, which most of us have been at one stage or another. And to see how dark or funny or sad you could take that."

The cast also stars Eternals and The Batman star Barry Keoghan, who can be seen above in an exclusive picture alongside McDonagh., and Kerry Condon, pictured below.

The Banshee of Inisherin

(Image credit: Searchlight)

That's just part of our The Banshees of Inisherin newser from new issue of Total Film, which is on newsstands this Thursday – while subscribers have their copies now! Order your copy of Total Film here or subscribe to Total Film here and never miss another issue. You can currently grab three issues for just £3!

Also in the new issue: Jamie Lee Curtis talking Halloween Ends, Sex Education breakout Emma Mackay discusses Emily and Barbie, and Olivia Wilde talks Don't Worry Darling. Plus, so much more! The Banshees of Inisherin is in cinemas from October 21, 2022.

Jordan Farley

I'm the News Editor at Total Film magazine, running the opening pages of every issue where you can read exclusive interviews and see first-look images from the biggest films. I was previously the Community Editor at sci-fi, fantasy and horror movie bible SFX. You'll find my name on news, reviews, and interviews covering every type of movie, from the latest French arthouse release to the biggest Hollywood blockbuster. My work has also featured in Official PlayStation Magazine and Edge. Outside of my day job, I'm a FromSoft fanatic (proudest achievement: beating Malenia solo) and a TV connoisseur (translation: I'll watch anything).