This 13th century action thriller stars Richard Armitage, Tom Holland and Jon Bernthal about a group of monks who undertake a perilous journey to escort their monastery’s holiest relic to Rome. It was filmed in Ireland and Belgium in April and May 2015.
Richard plays a Norman, Raymond De Merville, a misanthropic knight with whom the monks are forced to share their journey.
Pilgrimage started filming on 13 April 2015 according to this tweet from screenwriter Jamie Hannigan, but Richard was not able to join the cast and crew straight away due to his work on Hannibal. He finally joined the production on the west coast of Ireland for his first day of filming on 25 April and then travelled to Belgium to continue filming in the Ardennes region of Belgium from 18-30 May according to this article. Richard tweeted on 23 May that he had finished filming his role.
All images from the production are in the Pilgrimage picture gallery.
Ireland, 1209. An island on the edge of the world. A small group of monks begin a reluctant pilgrimage across an island torn between centuries of tribal warfare and the growing power of Norman invaders.
Escorting their monastery's holiest relic - a rock used in the martyrdom of St. Mathias, the thirteenth apostle - to Rome, the monks' progress is seen through the eyes of a pious young novice and a mute lay-brother with a violent past. As the true material, political and religious significance of the bejewelled relic becomes dangerously apparent, their path to the east coast becomes increasingly fraught with danger.
The monks belatedly realise that in this wild land of ancient superstitions, the faith that binds them together may ultimately lead to their destruction. When the true significance of the relic is revealed, the journey becomes much more treacherous, and the group's faith and loyalty to one another are tested.
The first mention of the Irish-Belgian made film Pilgrimage was on 4th December 2014 during a twitter Q&A with Richard via Warner Bros France, which was conducted entirely in french. You can read the english transcript of Richard's french Q&A with Warner Bros France on twitter yesterday here. Thanks to Suzelle. In answer to the question "What are your next projects?" Richard answered "Pilgrimage, a film in which my character is speaking 11th Century french".
The film was directed by Brendan Muldowney with a screenplay by Jamie Hannigan. Further details are here on the production website and a first report on ScreenDaily 29 Oct 2014 (click below for a screencap of the article).
Richard again mentioned Pilgrimage on 7th December 2014 at the Comic Con Experience (CCXP) in São Paulo, Brazil. He was interviewed in Omelete's booth.
Here is a photo tweeted by the CCXP official twitter account (click to enlarge):
During the interview Richard said the following:
"I'm producing something of my own, which is based on a true story. It's going to be set and filmed in Ireland in the late 1800s, it's a true story and I'm also going to be doing a thing called Pilgrimage, which is an 11th century story of a crusade to return a holy relic to Rome, and I'll be speaking ancient French. Which I have never spoken before so that'll be fun."
Photos from the filming location
Many of the cast of Pilgrimage posted pictures via twitter from their filming location in the west of Ireland in April 2015. You can follow the screenwriter Jamie Hannigan @jamiedotdotdot, and three of the actors Tom Holland @TomHolland1996, Jon Bernthal @jonnybernthal and Stanley Weber @sweber_official and Richard @RCArmitage of course.
On 10th May Film Mayo posted some photos from the set of Pilgrimage in their latest newsletter. There are no pictures of the cast.
Interviews during filming
On 28th April, two interviews were published to promote Richard's involvement in Hannibal and The Hobbit and they also mentionedPilgrimage.
Digital Spy 'Richard Armitage looks back on The Hobbit and forward to Hannibal'. This was the first time we were given some information about Richard's character in the film he is currently shooting, Pilgrimage
What are you working on at the moment?
"I'm shooting Pilgrimage, which is kind of a 12th century road movie about a relic which is making its way back to Rome with a group of monks, and I play a French Norman who has a personal agenda to corrupt this little journey. It's interesting, and most of my character's dialogue is in French, so I've been having to buff up my French."
HMV 'I feel like all of the properties from the Tolkien estate have been done now..."
You're filming for Pilgrimage at the moment aren't you? When did you start work on that?
“We literally started on Friday last week, so it's all still very new! We finished Hannibal in Toronto a week ago and now I'm over in Ireland. It's a great script, it's being produced by the Irish Film Board and XYZ Films, it's an independent movie that's a co-production with Belgium. It's set in the 12th century just after the fourth crusade and it's about a relic that's being returned to Rome. I play a Norman invader who is basically out to to corrupt that journey. Half of my dialogue is in French."
Do you speak French?
“Er, a little! But I'm trying to pass myself off as a Frenchman so it's been very interesting because I'm working with a lot of Belgians and I'm in a lot of scenes with a guy called Stanley Weber, who is Parisian! But it's all going well at the moment.”
The First Picture
On 22nd May Richard posted an indistinct picture of himself in Pilgrimage costume on Weibo. At that time he was on location in Belgium. The first picture below is the original and the second is a version I have edited to make his image more distinct. Click to enlarge.
The First Official Picture
The Hollywood Reporter exclusively revealed the first images from Pilgrimage on 9th June 2015, including a great shot of Richard in medieval armour.
End of filming announced
On 20th June, The Connacht Tribune reported that filming on Pilgrimage has finished. The production actually wrapped on 28th May according to the screenwriter's twitter. The article also mentions that the film will be promoted at the Toronto Film Festival in September and the American Film Market, an industry event in November.
Pilgrimage on IMDB
Wrong Men production Pilgrimage page
XYZ Films Pilgrimage page
Pilgrimage picture gallery
last updated 23 July 2014