Things are moving forward on The Yellow Birds, the movie adaptation of Kevin Powers’ 2012 National Book Award finalist. Benedict Cumberbatch, Tye Sheridan and Will Poulter have come aboard the Iraq war drama, which is now being financed by Courtney Solomon and Mark Canton’s Cinelou Films via a deal with Story Mining & Supply Co. The pic revolves around a 21-year-old (Poulter), who promises the mother of a teen he meets in boot camp (Sheridan) that he will watch over the soldier as they are deployed to Iraq. Cumberbatch will play Sgt. Sterling, who takes the young men under his wing. Powers was an Army machine gunner in Iraq.
This was the first project on the books for Jeffrey Sharp and Jim Kohlberg when they launched their Story Mining & Supply Co last fall, with Kohlberg as chairman and Sharp president and CEO. Sharp and production president Evan Hayes brought in the book and hired Ain’t Them Bodies Saints‘ David Lowery to write and direct it. The Solution Entertainment Group is selling international rights in Cannes.
Cinelou also also announced an extension of their financing pact with Shengua Entertainment from five to 10 films and a now-$100M package. That comes as it just wrapped production on its debut feature, Cake, starring Jennifer Aniston, Sam Worthington and Anna Kendrick.