‘Ring’ takes wing for Attenborough

Plummer, Barton, Fricker round out pic's cast

Richard Attenborough has begun helming the long-in-the-works Shirley MacLaine starrer “Closing the Ring” in Belfast.

Romantic drama, from a script by Peter Woodward, is set in Ireland and North Carolina in 1993 and in 1943 during WWII. It also stars Christopher Plummer, Mischa Barton (“The O.C.”), Brenda Fricker (“My Left Foot,” “The Field”) and Peter Postlethwaite (“The Constant Gardener”).

When a U.S. B-17 crashes near Belfast, a dying gunner asks a local to return his ring to his girlfriend in America.

Half a century later, a man finds the ring, learns its history and tracks down the girlfriend. MacLaine and Barton play the woman in 1993 and 1943, respectively.

Project was announced several years ago but was delayed because of financing gaps.

The Irish-Canadian pic is produced by Attenborough and Jo Gilbert and co-produced by Martin Katz.

Pic is lensing at Belfast’s Titanic Studios, which is co-owned by Gilbert and his sister Judy Gilbert. Filming will continue in Toronto and is skedded to wrap June 9.

ContentFilm will handle worldwide sales of the film.

Project unites Attenborough and MacLaine for the first time since 1962, when they starred together in “The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom.”