US company acquires screen rights to O'Donoghue book

US film and television company Pink Spear Productions has acquired the screen rights to the debut novel of Navan native actor, author and journalist Domhnall O'Donoghue.

'Sister Agatha: the World's Oldest Serial Killer' was first released by Tirgearr Publishing in 2016 and became an immediate international number one bestseller on Amazon.

In the novel, Sister Agatha believes she has just a week to live - inconvenient as the 118-year-old once made an improbable vow: to be the oldest person in the world. At the start of the story, she's the fifth. Never one to admit defeat, the Irish nun uses her remaining days to travel the world to meet her four rivals with a sinister plan to kill them - one by one.

The action kicks off in O’Donoghue's hometown of Navan before moving to Tunisia, Chicago, Warsaw and Venice. The lighthearted caper received a flurry of praise on release. Pink Spear is the US-based film and television production company of Colleen Bradford Krantz, whose family has many roots in Ireland. One of Pink Spear's films - the documentary 'West by Orphan Train' - won a regional Emmy Award, a national Clarion Award, and a national Leadership in History Award.

The company, which previously focused on non-fiction works, has begun moving into fictional works and is currently pitching an hour-long drama about a young animal scientist called Complete Bull.

With Sister Agatha, Pink Spear will first explore the option of a limited series based on the book but has not ruled out a film for bringing the nun's story to life.

"Sister Agatha has so many elements that viewers are craving right now - particularly after feeling so worn down by the pandemic," Krantz says.

Domhnall O'Donoghue.

"It not only has this wonderful older nun going about a seemingly evil plan, which provides a lot of laughs in itself, but it also involves these wonderful international locations - which should allow us to feel as though we are travelling alongside her to a small village in Africa or the city of Venice." She adds: "The resulting meeting of cultures has a great folksy appeal and the kind of open-hearted empathy that made Ted Lasso work."

O'Donoghue, who appeared in Ros na Rún for nine seasons, adds: "I started my writing career as a screenwriter, and when I penned Sister Agatha, I hoped that my naughty nun would make it to the screen one day! I'm thrilled that Colleen and her wonderful company feel the same.

"Since the arrival of the pandemic, our senior citizens have rightly been placed centre stage; the way we rallied together to protect them from COVID emphasised how much we value and respect those of a particular vintage. And that commitment perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the book. Sister Agatha might be 118 years old, but she refuses to believe that life has a Best Before date – there's always time for one more adventure!"