Irish-set drama also stars Liam Cunningham

LONDON — Brendan Gleeson is teaming up with Don Cheadle to star in helmer John Michael McDonagh’s “The Guard.” Pic follows an unorthodox Irish policeman who joins forces with a strait-laced FBI agent to take on an international drug smuggling gang in Ireland.

Pic, which is lensing on location in the west of Ireland, also stars Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham, Fionnuala Flanagan, David Wilmot, Pat Shortt and Katarina Cas.

“The Guard” is produced by Reprisal Film’s Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo and Element Pictures’ Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe.

McDonagh, Cheadle, Lenore Zerman, Tim Smith, Paul Brett, Ralph Kamp and David Nash all receive exec producer credits.

Metropolis Intl. Sales and Timeless Films, the new joint venture launched in September by former Odyssey topper Kamp and Prescience managing director Smith, are handling international sales, with Optimum Releasing and Element Pictures taking U.K. and Ireland rights respectively.

Metropolis and Timeless are also selling international rights on a feature-length 3-D version of Brit kid fave “Postman Pat,” which begins filming in February next year, as well as German-language hit “Wickie the Mighty Viking,” 3-D animated German pic “Animals United,” as well as “Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Bank.”

20th Century Fox will release “Space Chimps 2″ in the U.S. next summer.

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