James commenced his career in the Irish film industry with John Boorman’s Merlin Films as Head of Development. As Business Manager and subsequently Deputy CEO of the then newly established Irish Film Board, now Screen Ireland, from 1993 to 1997, he was involved with the development of the indigenous Irish film production sector.
In 1997 James, along with Juanita Wilson, established Metropolitan Films and has since been involved with over 80 feature film and television drama productions.
Through Metropolitan Film Productions Ltd, the sister company to Metropolitan Films International, James and the Metropolitan team has developed and produced many of its own in-house projects over many years including:
The critically acclaimed John Michael McDonagh directed Calvary with an ensemble cast of leading Irish talent headed by Brendan Gleeson.
Nora, the biopic on the life of Nora Barnacle starring Susan Lynch in the title role and Ewan McGregor as James Joyce.
In addition to the Academy Award® nominated The Secret of Kells, James’s credits also include the television series Vikings, Into the Badlands, and The Tudors , as well as the feature films Angela’s Ashes, Greta, and Tomato Red.
James is the Irish producer for Metropolitan Films on Ridley Scott’s feature film The Last Duel starring Matt Damon and Adam Driver for Fox/Disney Studios, which filmed in Ireland in 2020, Disney’s 2021 Feature Disenchanted starring Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey, and Valhalla for MGM/Netflix. Other projects which James is currently involved with as executive producer include Kin for BRON Studios, RTÉ and Screen Ireland, Harry Wild for Dynamic Television, ZDF and RTÉ, and Redemption for ITV Studios, Virgin Media Television and Screen Ireland.
He was appointed the Irish producer on Martin McDonagh’s new feature film, The Banshees of Inisherin for Fox Searchlight/Film Four, produced by Blueprint Pictures, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson which is currently filming in the West of Ireland.
James was a board member of the Screen Commission of Ireland from 1997 to 2000 and of Screen Training Ireland from 1995 to 2000.