What happens when you stick two people who hate each other in a car together? And what if those two men were sworn enemies on which the entire peace process between two countries rested?
We’ve got a first look at the new trailer for The Journey, an account of how two men from opposite sides of the political spectrum came together to change the course of history. Based on true events in 2006, admist the ongoing, decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland (also known as The Troubles), representatives from two warring factions meet for negotiations. In one corner is the late Ian Paisley, played by Timothy Spall, the deeply conservative British loyalist and evangelical Protestant minister who founded the Democratic Unionist Party. In the other corner there is the recently deceased Martin McGuinness, played by Colm Meaney, the Sinn Féin MP and veteran leader of the Irish Republican Army who devoted his life to the cause of Irish reunifications.
They couldn’t be more opposite: “These men are anarchy. They are the troubles,” says the late John Hurt’s character in the pic. But over the course of an impromptu, detour-filled car ride through the Scottish countryside, the two men begin to thaw and take a leap of faith towards fashioning a peace agreement that the wider world applauded.
A private screening of the film was hosted by Paisley’s son on Tuesday night in the House of Commons in London, a place that McGuinness had boycotted during The Troubles.
Nick Hamm directs The Journey from a script by Colin Bateman. Freddie Highmore, Toby Stephens and Hurt also star. IM Global finances the pic and IFC Films is releasing in the U.S. on June 16.
McGuinness died last week (March 21) at the age of 66. Former President Bill Clinton spoke at his funeral and referred to his once unthinkable friendship with the late Paisley saying: “It was great he got a word in edgeways. I never could.”