Rumored Projects
Watch Dogs

It was posted on several sources that Robert Carlyle would do the voice of a character called Stephen Fedder for the video game “Watch Dogs” and in the part “Mission: Pawnee Control Center”. It’s still listed on some sites that Robert did this project but we got it confirmed from the company who made the game that it’s not true.

Ironclad

In 2009 it was announced that Robert Carlyle would star in the medieval film Ironclad (2011) but he dropped out and we are not really sure what the reason was, but it was apparently hard to find financing for the movie so it had to be postponed several times. Other actors that had to drop out was Bob Hoskins, Pete Postlethwaite, Richard Attenborough, William Moseley, Colm Meaney and Angus McFayden.

Kings X

The now deceased director Ken Russell was going to direct this movie in 2007 with Robert Carlyle, Ray Winstone, Kevin Spacey and Emily Lloyd. The screenplay was written by Chris and Peter Cleverly and the story was about Colin Mank, a sharp, smooth talking, up-market low life whose narcissism leads him to record his life on his camera phone for posterity.

He falls for Hattie, an Essex girl property agent whose crooked boss has her doing dodgy deals she’s too naive and self important to question. But when both of them end up cheating on Colin he wants revenge, with interest. Later in 2007 it was reported that Ray Winstone had dropped out from the project and then there has been very little information to find about the film.

True North

Robert Carlyle was originally slated to appear in first-time director Steve Hudson’s bleak 2006 drama True North, he was forced to drop out due to the death of his father and was quickly replaced by actor Peter Mullan. Who happens to be an old friend of Robert’s.

Go Go Tales

Robert Carlyle was interviewed by The Guardian in 2005 and he spoke about the movie Go Go Tales (2007) which was going to be directed by Abel Ferrara. It was set to star Harvey Keitel, an actor which Robert has mentioned that be admires greatly.

It was said that he had been offered a part in the movie but the role was later played by Willem Dafoe.

Movie about Paul Ferris, a notorious Glasgow gangster

Robert mentioned this project to The Herald Scotland in 2005 and only commented, “I am in talks about a script.”
The movie would had been based on the book “The Ferris Conspiracy” and Robert and Paul Ferris met and spoke about the project. There was some controversy if a convicted criminal should be allowed to profit from his notoriety, and Ferris answer to this was, “I’m not profiting from my life of crime. I’m profiting from my lifetime’s experience. If there’s anything illegal regarding that, I’m sure the relevant authorities will take appropriate action.”

The movie never happened with Robert but The Wee Man (2013) was released several years later which was based on Ferris life.

In 2013 The Herald Scotland wrote about the project again and actor Martin Compston, who ended up playing Paul Ferris was quoted saying, “I remember years ago there was a picture of Paul and Robert Carlyle with the caption ‘Robert Carlyle to play Paul Ferris’ and I was absolutely gutted. Then that didn’t happen – the film was in and out of production for years – and out of the blue I got a call one day saying ‘do you fancy playing Paul Ferris?’ So I was really chuffed.”

Farmers on E

Irish director Síofra Campbell were going direct the film Farmers on E and it was information posted about it online and it said it was scheduled to start shooting in 2005. It was going to be her first feature film and Robert Carlyle and Ewan Bremner were both lined up to star.

The Cutting Room

Plans to produce a film version of the novel were at an advanced stage in 2004. The film was set to star Robert Carlyle as Rilke with a screenplay from Andrea Gibb, and was due to be filmed on location in the West End of Glasgow, but the project failed to materialise.

Robert did, however, contribute to an audio book version of the novel in 2008.

Whyte and Mackay Whisky TV Ads

In April 2003 it was reported by several sources, one of them being The Herald Scotland, that Robert has been signed up by Maxxium to provide voiceover for the first TV ads behind Whyte and Mackay for UK screens. He was set to narrate a series of sketches across several creatives, but this project didn’t seem to have happen as far as we know.

Battle of Culloden

Several sources, one of them The Herald Scotland, wrote in 2000 that Robert was going to star in a movie about the bloody killing fields of Culloden and that the film was going to be directed by Scottish director John Mackenzie. It was at the 1746 Battle of Culloden that Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites lost their fight for the Stuart cause after coming face-to-face with the Duke of Cumberland’s troops. The film was supposed to focus on the aftermath of the battle and the persecution of the Jacobites by the Royal Army.

John Mackenzie was the director of Looking After Jo Jo (1998) in which Robert also had the main part.

Mackenzie’s own words about the project, “This is about Scotland and the Scottish scenery, it’s not going to be shot on any old moor. The Scottish Highlands are an integral part of the film. The whole story is so dramatic. It has got so much going for it. I have always had a big interest in that time in Scottish history – the aftermath of Culloden and what it did to the Highlands and clans.”

He also said that Robert was interested in playing the role of clansman John Mackintosh as he goes on the run from Cumberland’s officers.

Movie about poet Robert Burns

The Herald Scotland wrote an article about this project in April 1999 and the film would had centered on the love between Burns and Clarinda Nancy Agnes McLehose, who inspired him to write Ae Fond Kiss, which Sir Walter Scott described as the “essence of a thousand love tales”. With Robert as Burns and Emma as Clarinda, Eddie Crozier was supposed to be a producer and actor James Cosmo was also involved and it was said that this would be a large production on the scale of Braveheart (1995).

“The synopsis we have involves the story of Burns going to Edinburgh from Ayr and how he managed to interest people in him who would not normally have stopped an Ayrshire farmer and ploughman for a conversation. Then he met the woman known as Clarinda and they wrote love letters to each other.”

Leading Burns scholar Ken Simpson said, “It was a deeply passionate relationship but mainly on paper. Robert Carlyle and Emma Thompson might well provide the right sexual chemistry. I think it would do well at the box office but in some ways it is a pity there are no plans for a film which would take a more extended view of the life of Burns. The process of making Burns into an icon has led to a reduction of a complex human being to a set of stereotypes. Such a movie would only focus on one aspect of Burns. It’s important to remember that he wrote brilliant acerbic satires as well as poignant lyrics.”

The film was set to be filmed in Ayrshire, Dumfries, Edinburgh, and Pinewood in the summer of 2000, and would had featured a soundtrack of original Burns songs along with a soundtrack from Deacon Blue, Big Country, and Marillion.

Scottish Western movie

It’s not clear if Robert was to direct or star in this film, but it was supposed to be produced by his company 4Way Pictures together with BBC Films and it was one of 10 projects that was announced.

The Scottish Western movie, was supposed to be an action adventure set in eighteenth-century America, with Robert heading an ensemble cast. It’s unclear why this movie didn’t happen but with Roberts love for western films we’re sure it would hade been amazing!

The Meat Trade

For many years this movie has been in talks with many big names attached to the project. The Meat Trade is a a thriller about 19th-century Scottish serial killers Burke and Hare set in modern-day Edinburgh, from a script written by Irvine Welsh.

At first, around 1999-2000, Robert Carlyle and Antonia Bird was going to reunite working together again and Bird would direct. Then it’s been reported back and forth on this project and we know Robert has tried to get this movie done for a long time.

In 2004 Mark Cousins, the supposed producer of the film, said: “4Way Pictures was Antonia’s idea and then she collected her colleagues. She collected Bobby Carlyle and she collected me and then Irvine was the last to come on board. The Meat Trade was his [Welsh’s] idea. He wrote it and handed it to Antonia and said: ‘Here’s something for you to direct’. It’s got fantastic characters, a bit like the Joe Pesci character in Goodfellas, men who are both full of menace and threat but rather articulate and understand their place in society. But there’s also Irvine’s social awareness.”

Yet despite the pedigree of those involved, Irving Welsh writing the script and that both Robert, Colin Firth and Samantha Morton was at one point cast as the leads, the film appeared to be no closer to go in to production in 2009.

Robert was interviewed by magazine The Telegraph in 2009 and explained, “We’ve been trying to get this film made for f—— years and it just isn’t happening. People will be surprised to hear that – given all those names attached. But this is the British film industry in microcosm right there – and I’ve had it with it.”

Benny Lynch movie

Robert Carlyle and screenwriter Frank Deasy worked together in Looking After Jo Jo (1998) and while filming the series Robert mentioned to Frank that he would love to be in a movie about Benny Lynch. This made Deasy curious and he started to read about Lynch and his life. They both discuss this in the Benny Lynch Documentary (2003) which was directed by John Mackenzie who also directed Looking After Jo Jo (1998).

The pair, Robert and John Mackenzie planned to work together again on the late Frank Deasy’s script, Benny Lynch, about the Scottish world champion boxer who died of alcoholism and in an article from The Scotsman in 2010 it’s mentioned that Andrea Calderwood, then head of drama at BBC Scotland was quoted saying; “It was a great script but we just couldn’t raise the money to make it. Scottish Screen considered it a throwback to an image of Scotland they didn’t wish to project. But it wasn’t. It was a universal story. It was Raging Bull.”

Antonia Bird was also involved in one stage together with Robert and their company 4Way Pictures back in 1999. Variety reported that they would co-direct this biopic together.

Another detail is that Benny Lynch’s son Robert Lynch, has expressed several times that he wanted Robert to star as his father in the movie.

Divorcing Jack

In March 1997 in an interview with The Herald Scotland Robert was said to be set to play a Northern Irish journalist in an adaptation of Colin Bateman’s novel, “Divorcing Jack”. Robert said, “We start filming in Belfast in July… just in time for the start of the marching season.”

Unfortunately Robert didn’t participate in this project, for unknown reasons but the movie was made, Divorcing Jack (1998) with actor David Thewlis in the main part.

Apprentices (1988)

Polish site Onet Film posted Robert’s filmography in 2000 and has written, “After graduating from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 1988, Robert made his debut in the production of the film school “Apprentices“.”

We haven’t found more information about this project but we think a former classmate might have directed the movie. The site that posted about this is known to be a site that posts a lot of gossip so it’s hard to know if this movie really happened or not.

“Kwik Fit” Advert (1988)

Tried to get a part in a “Kwik Fit” dance advert in 1988 but didn’t get it. He spoke about it at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in April 2016 and you can view the final result on Youtube.

“It’s such a tough business to go in to. I remember, there were loads of things I didn’t get – I went for auditions and got rejected. In the first couple of years of my career, I was up for the Kwik Fit Fitter advert. You know the wee dance? I had to stand there in a room and do the Quick Fit Fitter dance, and I didn’t fucking get it. How humiliating is that? It was my lowest point and it was in London as well. I had to come back in the bus to Glasgow thinking ‘I’m quitting, I’m never doing this again’.”

Other rumored parts

He was considered to replace David Tennant in Doctor Who (2005-) around 2009 or 2010.

A movie called Light in the Sky was rumored in 2006, might be a working title for another movie or it’s a movie that never went to production.

Turned down a major role in Flight of the Phoenix (2004).

Was offered a part in the hit series Lost (2004-2010) but he turned it down. The part is believed to have been the one of Desmond Hume and was played by Henry Ian Cusick.

Turned down a role as Major Henry West 28 Days Later… (2002) before taking a role in 28 Weeks Later (2007). The role later went to Christopher Eccleston.

He was originally offered David Thewlis’ role in Divorcing Jack (1998), but he had to drop out when the shoot dates were changed and he became unavailable.

A movie called Tender Blue Eyes (1992) has been listed on Robert’s iMDB page for along time but a fan finally found this movie and we can confirm that Robert has no connection to it at all.