Casting for a film can sometimes be a bit of a challenge for producers - especially if they need one big name to sell the movie. But then there are the times when they hit the jackpot. What if you could cast a movie with not just one, but a number of big names? And what if those big names had been recently involved in global hits and massive franchises? Well it would seem director Justin Chadwick (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) has been handed a group of performers who fit that bill.
Solution Entertainment Group have announced that Chadwick will be directing an espionage thriller called Official Secrets. The film stars a whole host of fan favourites with Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) and Paul Bettany (Avengers:Age of Ultron) in the leading roles - supported by Martin Freeman (Sherlock). And if you thought that was exciting enough, they will be joined by veteran actors Sir Anthony Hopkins (Thor) and the mighty Harrison Ford (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
The film, produced by Elizabeth Fowler (Devil’s Knot), has its screenplay adapted from the best-selling book "The Spy Who Tried To Stop A War: Katherine Gun and The Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion". Screenwriting duties on the project are being handled by the husband/wife duo of Gregory and Sara Bernstein - the former of whom also co-wrote the historical drama/thriller The Conspirator.
Here is the plot synopsis for Official Secrets:
In the run up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Katharine Gun (Dormer), a young British intelligence officer, reveals a secret illegal NSA spy operation against the UN Security Council designed to ensure passage of a resolution for war to Martin Bright (Bettany), a reporter at the British newspaper, The London Observer. Katharine’s arrest following the leak makes headlines around the world. In an attempt to gain the evidence to free Katharine, Martin unearths the shocking plot which puts both Katharine and Martin’s lives in great jeopardy. Freeman will be playing Peter Edwards, the foreign affairs editor at The Observer, while Hopkins is playing a retired UK general and Ford a CIA agent.
Such a talented cast with their glimmering résumés gives great cause for excitement and anticipation. It will be interesting to see how these actors - many of which are most famous for their roles in big sci-fi/fantasy franchises - will fair together on screen in such a serious drama. Seeing the level of controversy surrounding the 2nd Iraq War it will be interesting to see how a film of this nature does at the box office. But what with a cast like this it's hard to imagine it won't be at least a critical success.
Official Secrets is slated to begin principal photography in May 2016 in the UK. An official U.S. theatrical release date has yet to be set.
Source: Solution Entertainment Group