Director Lenny Abrahamson Poised for Breakout With ‘Frank’

Irish helmer debuted with 'Adam and Paul' in 2004

Lenny Abrahamson Irish Director
Rob Kim/Getty Images

Since his eye-catching debut with “Adam and Paul” in 2004, Lenny Abrahamson has been tipped as the most likely Irish director to follow Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan onto the international A-list.

The 46 year old has bided his time. After consolidating his reputation with two more small-scale Irish dramas, “Garage” in 2007 and “What Richard Did” in 2012, he finally stepped up to a more commercially ambitious project this year with his latest movie, “Frank.”

“Frank,” likely to make its festival debut early next year, stars Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhall and Domhnall Gleeson. Scripted by Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan (“Men Who Stare at Goats”), it’s an eccentric comedy loosely inspired by the cult rock star Frank Sidebottom, who performed wearing a large plastic head. Fassbender plays the mysterious Frank, sporting the head for most of the movie.

“After ‘Adam and Paul,’ I had offers from American agents, but I think I would have been swallowed up,” Abrahamson says. “I wanted to make films that were culturally relevant in my own country, that challenged people and that people talked about.

“But in the past couple of years, I’ve made a conscious decision to open myself up to bigger stories. I think I’m better placed now, and there are really interesting and original projects that require a more expansive canvas.”

His development slate includes ghost story “The Little Stranger.”