There are a lot of jokesters online. It’s always important to remember that, especially when a piece of news pops up that seems too good or improbable to be true. I’ve been fooled before. Four years ago, in the days before Christmas, I wrote a post about Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin getting into a Twitter feud with the official public relations account for North Korea, only to find out moments later that both accounts were parodies. Which, of course, they were. I should have known. I was just too excited. I let myself get blinded by the fun of it all. I bring this up today because Michael Flatley is starring in an action movie.
Yes, Michael Flatley, the Lord of the Dance himself, is starring in an action movie. I double checked and everything. It is called Blackbird and there are three things you need to know about Blackbird starring Michael Flatley.
Number one: The official description whoops ass.
Troubled secret agent “Blackbird” abruptly retires from service and opens a luxurious nightclub in the Caribbean to escape the dark shadows of his past. An old flame arrives and reignites love in his life but she brings danger with her.
Astute cinephiles will read that and probably think something like “Holy crap, it sounds like the Lord of the Dance is starring in an updated version of Casablanca, set in the Caribbean, as a former secret agent named Blackbird.” And that is correct. But it is not the full story here. Because…
Number two: Michael Flatley also wrote and directed Blackbird and appears to have helped finance it himself through his production company, Dance Lord. There’s a lot to unpack here. We’ll get to some of it in a minute. But first, we really should note what a tremendous name “Dance Lord” is for a production company. It works because, again, he was the Lord of the Dance, but it’s even better if you pretend he was not. Like if he was just some aspiring filmmaker who named his production company Dance Lord.
“Hey Mike, how’s Tinseltown treating you.”
“Eh, I’m getting there. Just filed the paperwork for my own production company. I’m calling it Dance Lord.”
“I’m sorry, I thought you said Dance Lord just now.”
“Oh. That’s… cool.”
I lied. It’s probably better that the guy from The Lord of the Dance called his production company Dance Lord.
Number three: Guess who else is in Blackbird. Guess. Fine, I’ll tell you.
Hell yes, Eric Roberts is in Blackbird, the self-produced spy movie starring the creator of The Lord of the Dance. Of course, Eric Roberts is in this movie. Go look at his IMDB page. He has over 50 projects dated 2018 or 2019 alone. He has 30 films or television series in post-production right now. One of them is called Pups Alone: A Christmas Peril and will star him and Dolph Lundgren. Eric Roberts is the hardest working man in all of Hollywood, even if most of the movies he appears in go straight to VOD and end up free on a streaming service five months later. His career fascinates me. That picture I posted above this paragraph is a screencap from a movie titled Run, in which teenagers use parkour to bring down his criminal organization after he kidnaps the main character’s love interest, whose name is Emily Baltimore. Prior to today, that was probably the most Eric Roberts movie. It still might be. We will have to watch Blackbird to know for sure.
And yes, I will definitely watch Blackbird. And I will probably have some fun with it when I do, just like I’m having fun here. But let me say this, too: This is just about the coolest thing I’ve ever heard. According to various celebrity net worth websites, which are not necessarily accurate but close enough for our purposes here, Michael Flatley is worth over $350 million. What’s even the point of making a fortune on a dance-related stage show if you can’t turn around and make a movie in which you cast yourself as “What if Humphrey Bogart’s character from Casablanca was a spy named Blackbird who lived on a tropical island”? That’s… that’s almost aspirational. I don’t even know Michael Flatley and I’m so proud of him right now.
In closing, please look at the official poster for this movie. Michael Flatley is truly living his best life.