Flannan Isles lighthouse mystery to be made into film

The Flannan Isles lighthouse. Picture: TSPL

The Flannan Isles lighthouse. Picture: TSPL

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One of Scotland’s most gripping real-life mysteries is being made into a film.

The three keepers of the Flannan Isles lighthouse vanished without a trace more than a century ago.

Peter Mullan has one of the lead roles in the new film

Peter Mullan has one of the lead roles in the new film

Now the story is being recreated for the big screen by the director of Nordic noir hit TV series The Killing.

Scottish actors Gerard Butler and Peter Mullan are also taking lead roles.

The stars, plus newcomer Joe Alwyn, will play the original keepers - Thomas Marshall, Donald MacArthur and James Ducat.

The men disappeared from the island, 20 miles west of Lewis, in 1900.

Their bodies were never found.

There was no sign of a struggle in the lighthouse, other than an overturned chair.

However, unused oilskins had been left behind, suggesting one of the men had gone outside without them.

Although the island had been battered by the wind and waves, the oil-fired lamps were clean and refilled, with the men’s beds unmade. However, the clocks in the tower had stopped.

Award-winning Danish film-maker Kristoffer Nyholm confirmed this week that the movie, to be called Keepers, was in pre-production.

A script has been written and filming is due to start in the UK next year.

The official investigation into the keepers’ disappearance concluded that they were likely swept over the cliffs while trying to secure something outside.

But the new take on the story will pit the three men against each other in a “tense battle for survival”.

Mr Nyholm said: “I feel incredibly fortunate to have Gerard Butler, Peter Mullan and Joe Alwyn leading the cast of the Keepers.

“They are great actors who are deeply committed to this project, and who will go the distance. These men are the strong and unique characters at the heart of this story, which is a journey from innocence to animalistic survival.

“Keepers was great to read, will be an adventure to make, and terrifying to watch.”

Commenting on the new film, Still Game’s Greg Hemphill said: “That was quick. West Skerra Light only went out last night and The Hollywood remake is already in the works.”

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