Liam Neeson has dropped out of a major movie project with Jeremy Irons about the saint who brought Christianity to Scotland - citing his grief following the death of his wife Natasha Richardson last year. Richardson passed away in March 2009 following a skiing accident in Montreal, Canada.
Neeson had signed up to star in a new film by Scottish director Norman Stone, about legendary historical figure Saint Columba, but the moviemaker admits the 57 year old has now scrapped plans to appear in the historical drama. Stone reveals that after Richardson's sudden death, he gave the actor several months to decide whether he wanted to continue with the role but Neeson felt he couldn't go ahead with the project.
He says, "It has been a difficult time for Liam. I think he would have been great in the film. We wanted him to play the part of King Aidan, who has fiery clashes with Columba (played by Irons). It would've been great to see him alongside Jeremy."
He adds, "The script was with him for several months and I understand he loved it. He has decided not to go ahead, which is a pity, but the decision was made after what has been a difficult time for him and I respect the circumstances. He is a truly great actor."