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Skellig (film)

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(Redirected from Skellig: The Owl Man)

Written byIrena Brignull
David Almond
Directed byAnnabel Jankel
StarringTim Roth
Bill Milner
Skye Bennett
John Simm
Kelly Macdonald
Jermaine Allen
Theme music composerStep Warbeck
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
ProducerNick Hirschkorn
Running time102 minutes
Original release
Release12 April 2009 (2009-04-12)

Skellig (known in North America as Skellig: The Owl Man) is a 2009 British fantasy film directed by Annabel Jankel, and starring Tim Roth and Bill Milner. The screenplay by Irena Brignull is based on David Almond's novel of the same name.[1]


Secondary school student Michael Cooper moves with his parents and newborn, nameless sister to a decrepit house. Michael feels abandoned by his parents, who dote on his baby sister instead. However, due to Michael's inability to accept his sister, he feels as if it is his fault when his premature sister develops a heart condition and must be rushed to the hospital. An upset Michael enters the dilapidated garden shed, where he meets a strange grumpy old man with owl wings called Skellig. Michael befriends a girl named Mina, who is equally intrigued by Skellig. The two friends visit Skellig together frequently, but when Michael's parents get into a fight about how moving away may not be a good idea, Michael's father ends up setting the shed ablaze, which injures Michael's hand as he, Skelling, and Mina rush to escape.

Michael and Mina take Skellig to a tall tower to examine his owl wings, but Skellig reveals his magical abilities to heal Michael's hand. Michael's baby sister's condition worsens and he begins to frequently visit the hospital, where he becomes friends with an old woman named Grace. However, before the day of an operation that will save the deteriorating life of Michael's baby sister, Grace dies, leaving Michael distraught. He runs to Skellig and tells him to cure his baby sister with his powers so she will not have to die like Grace did. Skellig uses his powers to sneak into the hospital undetected and heals Michael's baby sister, who is able to return home and is named Grace Joy.

The film ends with a scene of Skellig joining Michael and Mina at the tower and the three looking out at the world around them.



The film was part of Sky 1's plan to invest £10 million in producing three new high-definition dramas.[2] Filming started on 2 September 2008 in Caerphilly in Wales with scenes shot in and around Cardiff, Wales.[3][4] Cast members included Roth, Milner, Skye Bennett, Kelly Macdonald and John Simm.[5] The film was scripted by Irena Brignull and directed by Annabel Jankel.[3] It aired on Sky 1 on 12 April 2009.


  • Won - Cinekid Film Award - Honorable Mention
  • Nominated - RTS Television Award for Best Effects in Picture Enhancement
  • Nominated - RTS Television Award for Best Effects in Special Effects
  • Nominated - RTS Television Award for Best Make-Up Design
  • Nominated - VES Awards for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Mini-Series or Series
  • Nominated - PI.CA for Everything


  1. ^ Shepherd, Rob (2 September 2008). "Tim Roth to star in Sky 1's Skellig". Broadcastnow. Emap. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
  2. ^ West, Dave (19 March 2008). "Sky One sets three major HD series". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2 September 2008.
  3. ^ a b Holmwood, Leigh (2 September 2008). "Tim Roth to don wings as Skellig". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2008.
  4. ^ Bignell, Paul (14 September 2008). "On location: California, Cannes... and now Cardiff". The Independent.
  5. ^ Fletcher, Alex (2 September 2008). "Tim Roth confirmed for 'Skellig' cast". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2 September 2008.

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