Neil Jordan (Michael Collins) returns behind the camera with Byzantium, the fantasy vampire-thriller that sees the excellent Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton in the leading roles.

The film made its debut to solid reviews at TIFF earlier this month, and now the first clip has been released over at, giving us a look at an intense Ronan doing something rather awesome.

“Eleanor and Clara, two mysterious and penniless young women, flee the scene of a violent crime and arrive in a run-down coastal resort. They try to find money and refuge along the tawdry seafront and in the dilapidated hotels.

Clara, ever-practical, sells her body. She soon meets shy and lonely Noel, who provides a roof over their heads in his seedy guesthouse, Byzantium. Clara, always looking towards the future, turns it into a ‘pop-up’ brothel.

Meanwhile Eleanor, the eternal schoolgirl, meets Frank, a kindred spirit who unwittingly prompts her to tell the truth about her life. She tells him that Clara is her mother; yet Clara is only a few years older. She says that she was born in 1804; yet she is just sixteen. She confesses that she must drink human blood to stay alive – and so must her mother. In the small, quiet town, people start to die.

And the past that the girls have been running from for so long, finally catches up with them – with astonishing consequences.”

Jordan is directing from a script by Moira Buffini (Tamara Drewe, Jane Eyre), who adapts her own play, with Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones, Jonny Lee Miller, and Tom Hollander co-starring.

This first clip surfaced a little earlier in the month, whilst I was out enjoying the Toronto International Film Festival, but I thought it was worth putting up for us all to enjoy; it looks like it’s going to be a brilliant film.

Byzantium is set for release sometime in 2013, and though we’re not yet sure on the dates, StudioCanal and IFC Films will be releasing it in the UK and US, respectively, so thankfully no need to worry about distribution. For now, here’s the great first and slightly blood-soaked clip. Here’s to hoping we’ll see more from the film soon. Enjoy.

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