Wide Screen

Great Big Sea’s Alan Doyle set for Russell Crowe pic ‘Winter’s Tale’

Will Perkins
Wide Screen

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Doyle and Crowe in 2010. (Barry King/FilmMagic)

Hollywood keeps calling out to Great Big Sea lead singer Alan Doyle. The Newfoundland-born folk rocker is currently in New York City filming "Winter's Tale," the directorial debut of mega producer Akiva Goldsman ("I Am Legend," the "Paranormal Activity" series).

"I've been cast as a thief, Dingy," the singer/actor tweeted yesterday. "In some serious company. What a thrill."

The serious company that Doyle is likely referring to is the film's heavy duty Hollywood cast. Featuring big names like Will Smith, Colin Farrell, and Jennifer Connelly, "Winter's Tale" also happens to star Doyle's good friend Russell Crowe.

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Doyle and Crowe have collaborated many times in the past, most notably on Ridley Scott's "Robin Hood," where the musical Doyle appropriately played the Merry Men's minstrel Allan A'Dayle. The Canadian singer had previously worked with Crowe on one of the Oscar winner's albums, co-writing several songs and playing on tour, which led to his "Robin Hood" casting. More recently the two could be seen together on a third season premiere of the CBC television series "Republic of Doyle," which was a ratings knockout.

So, what about their next project together? Not to be confused with the William Shakespeare play, "Winter's Tale" is based on author Mark Helprin's alternate history novel of the same name. Jumping between a fantastical Victorian-era Manhattan and the modern day, the film follows the intertwining tales of a guardian angel horse, an unwilling thief, and a dying child. They had us at angel horse.

So where does Doyle's character fit into this fantasy yarn? Well, actor Colin Farrell plays thief Peter Lake in the film, a former mechanic who is pressed into service as a burglar by a gang called the Short Tails. Crowe plays Pearly Soames, the leader of the gang of criminals. Given that Doyle's character is also a thief, it's probably safe to assume that he'll share most of his screen time with Farrell and Crowe.

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Now, we're not saying that Doyle wouldn't have gotten the part in "Winter's Tale" if he weren't friends with Crowe, because he's already shown that he's a talented actor. But in Hollywood, half of everything is who you know. And if you know an actor like Russell Crowe, you're already ahead of the game.

'Winter's Tale" is set for release some time in 2013.

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