Cillian Murphy Leads Blood Runs Coal True Crime Movie Adaptation

By Britta DeVore | Published

cillian murphy

Hot off his Oscar-winning run as the titular father of the atomic bomb in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, Cillian Murphy has been tapped for his latest project, a Universal Pictures drama. The film, which Murphy will also produce, will be based on Mark A. Bradley’s novel, Blood Runs Coal: The Yablonski Murders and the Battle for the United Mine Workers of America. As of right now, no other casting announcements have been made.

Blood Runs Coal Is In Good Hands

Along with Cillian Murphy’s name attached to lead in front of the camera, the film already has a terrific crew behind the scenes helping it come to life. Co-penning the screenplay adaptation are Jez Butterworth (Ford v Ferrari) and John-Henry Butterworth (Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny). Both men have seen much success as scribes in Hollywood and have previously worked together on Doug Liman’s 2014 sci-fi action flick, Edge of Tomorrow.

What Is Blood Runs Coal About?

The story behind Blood Runs Coal takes place in Pennsylvania in the 1960s when coal mining was at an all-time high. Murder is afoot in a greedy small town in an assassination that will change the course of American labor unions forever. Seeing as how Cillian Murphy is an Irish native, in a country known for having their own union struggles, the project is likely one close to his heart despite not being from the coal mining industries of Pennsylvania. 

Cillian Murphy’s Hollywood Career

28 years later

While Cillian Murphy has long had a successful career in the industry since his breakthrough role in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, 2023 was an especially important one for the Peaky Blinders star as he appeared in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. After having worked with the acclaimed director on such projects as The Dark Knight and Dunkirk, Murphy stepped into his biggest role yet alongside a stacked cast filled with names including Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, David Dastmalchian, and many more.


With all eyes on Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer at this year’s award circuit, it was the latter of the two that would end up cashing in on trophy upon trophy with Cillian Murphy winning at the Academy, BAFTAs, Golden Globes, and Screen Actors Guild Awards. With so much buzz generating around his name, it’s understandable why and how Cillian Murphy has become one of the most sought-after actors in the industry.

Murphy Also Appearing In Small Things Like These

cillian murphy

Along with Blood Runs Coal, Cillian Murphy is also involved with another history-based piece of writing in Tim Mielants’ on-screen adaptation of Claire Keegan’s 2021 novel, Small Things Like These. In it, the actor will play a man named Bill Furlong, living in a coal town (do we sense a pattern here?) in 1985 where he discovers a haunting truth going on behind the scenes at a local convent. The title celebrated its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year but has yet to set a theatrical release window. 

As we mentioned, at this moment no further details surrounding Cillian Murphy’s upcoming project, Blood Runs Coal, have been revealed but, as always, stay tuned for more information as it rolls in.

Source: Variety