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What Jimmy Rabbitte did next --Roddy to pen Commitments II

It was the movie that launched the careers of Andrew Strong, Glen Hansard and Maria Doyle Kennedy, and now The Commitments is ready for a comeback.

In news that will come as music to the ears of fans everywhere, author Roddy Doyle is penning a sequel to the 1991 hit movie and wants to explore where the iconic characters are today.



SINGER

The Guts, which is due for release in August, will catch up with Jimmy Rabbitte Jr, the singer who formed the Dublin-based band.

Jimmy, originally played by Robert Arkins, is still music-mad and is running a business that brings old bands back to life, operating a website called oldshite.com.

Doyle said that Dublin today provides the perfect backdrop for the updated storyline.

"Those first three books, particularly, were written in a time of recession," he said. "I don't know if we even used the word recession back then, outside the world of economics. It was just normal life in Dublin."

Roddy said that although he moved on to other projects since the Barrytown trilogy, he was particularly curious about exploring the band behind the Mustang Sally rendition.

"I thought it would be interesting to go back to some of those characters, particularly Jimmy Rabbitte, the lad who formed The Commitments, and add the 26 years to him, give him a family and see how he's got on," he said.

Roddy is also revisiting The Commitments in a different form, working on a musical adaptation of the novel, which is scheduled to open in London's West End next autumn.

clairemurphy@herald.ie