[What follows is excerpted from a report published on 11 November on the Syracuse.com website:]
On Monday, Nov 16, Le Moyne College will host the Oscar-nominated Irish writer, director and producer Jim Sheridan to speak about his career. (...)
Sheridan's most recent project, The Secret Scripture (starring Vanessa Redgrave, Rooney Mara, Theo James and Eric Bana) is in post-production and set for a 2016 release. (...)
After The Secret Scripture release, Sheridan hopes to turn his full attention to a major project with ties to Syracuse: a screenplay about the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing on Dec. 21, 1988.
Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York exploded in midair over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people, including 35 Syracuse University students returning from a semester abroad, and five others with ties to Central New York.
"I remember when it happened; it was a terrible disaster," Sheridan said. "It would be good to put Lockerbie to rest."
Right now, Sheridan is doing research for the screenplay. It's in its early stages, with the working title "Lockerbie."
"I want to respect the families," Sheridan said. "It's still raw. My brother died in 1967 and it still controls our family in a way. I can only imagine the level of grief there is."
Sheridan said his approach to this subject is "very open-minded" and "based on the evidence." He's interested in Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, a Libyan who was the only person convicted in the terror case.
In 2001, al-Megrahi was sentenced to life in prison, but was granted a "compassionate release" in 2009 after doctors said he had advanced prostate cancer. He died in Libya after receiving a hero's welcome.
Until his death, al-Megrahi professed his innocence. Jim Swire, an English doctor whose daughter Flora died in the bombing, believes al-Megrahi was innocent.
"I find it a fascinating subject but I don't want to take sides," Sheridan said. "I think the whole story is really about Swire and al-Megrahi's friendship."