STXfilms has won the US rights to BAFTA and Academy Award winning director Kevin Macdonald’s untitled legal thriller, formerly known as Prisoner 760. The film stars Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA winner Jodie Foster and BAFTA nominee Tahar Rahim, with Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Shailene Woodley and Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch.
The movie, from 30WEST, Topic Studios, and BBC Films, will be distributed in the UK and Ireland by STXinternational, as previously announced. STXinternational also acquired the international rights to the film last fall at the AFM. Today’s announcement was made by Adam Fogelson, chairman of the Motion Picture Group for STXfilms.
The untitled film tells the explosive true story of a fight for survival against all odds. Captured by the US government, Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Rahim) languishes in prison for years without charge or trial. Losing all hope, Slahi finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Woodley).
Together, they face countless obstacles in a desperate pursuit for justice. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Stuart Couch (Cumberbatch), eventually reveals a shocking and far reaching conspiracy.
“We are proud to partner with 30WEST, Topic Studios, and BBC Films on this extraordinary and important true story. The film features memorable performances by Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim, Shailene Woodley, who we have the pleasure of working with again, and Benedict Cumberbatch,” said Fogelson.
“Kevin has made a powerful and thought-provoking drama and a great legal thriller that we are excited to share with audiences in the US and around the world through our international distribution partners.”
The film is based on Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s New York Times bestselling memoir Guantánamo Diary (buy at Amazon). Macdonald directs from a screenplay by Michael Bronner and Rory Haines & Sohrab Noshirvani.
Michael Bronner is a screenwriter, producer, director, long-time journalist and former staff producer on 60 minutes. His work has been recognised by the Peabody Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Emmys. Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani previously wrote The Informer for Amazon and the BBC, and have an overall deal with FX where they are developing multiple projects.
Production on the film wrapped earlier this year in South Africa. Cumberbatch is producing with Adam Ackland and Leah Clarke for their company SunnyMarch, alongside Lloyd Levin and Beatriz Levin for Shadowplay Features, Mark Holder and Christine Holder through their newly formed venture Wonder Street, and Branwen Prestwood-Smith. Michael Bronner also serves as producer.
Financiers are 30WEST and Topic Studios in partnership with BBC Films, which also developed the project. The executive producers are 30WEST principals Micah Green, Dan Steinman and Dan Friedkin, Topic Studios’ Maria Zuckerman, Ryan Heller and Michael Bloom, and BBC Films’ Rose Garnett.
Jim Reeve and Robert Halmi are executive producing for Great Point Media, and Zak Kilberg and Russell Smith are executive producing for Convergent Media. Larry Siems and Mohamedou Ould Slahi serve as co-producers.