From Danish helmer Per Fly, Backstabbing For Beginners is a political thriller inspired by international relations veteran Michael Soussan’s memoir Backstabbing For Beginners: My Crash Course In International Diplomacy. Josh Hutcherson and Ben Kingsley have boarded the project that’s produced by Parts & Labor, Creative Alliance, and Scythia Films. Fortitude International is starting pre-sales at the American Film Market next week.
Set up as an official Danish/Canadian co-production, and co-written by Daniel Pyne (The Manchurian Candidate) and Fly, the film starts shooting in January. UTA Independent Film Group is repping U.S. rights. Entertainment One has already acquired all rights in Canada.
Hutcherson plays Michael, a young idealist who lands his dream job as a program coordinator for the UN’s Oil for Food program. He is thrown into an already fraught post-war Iraq where government agents and power-hungry countries are circling the country’s oil reserves like sharks. He seeks answers from the one person he thinks he can trust, Pasha (Kingsley), his boss, a seasoned diplomat. The more Michael learns, however, the more he suspects a conspiracy at the highest level. The only way out will be to expose it all — risking his own life, his mentor’s career, and the life of the Kurdish woman he loves.
Kingsley and Hutcherson are also serving as executive producers. Kingsley, currently on screen in Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk, has Anton Corbijn’s Life, Disney’s The Jungle Book and Terrence Malick’s Knight Of Cups lined up for release. Hutcherson will next be seen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 in November. Fly last directed hit Swedish pic Monica Z and recently helmed the pilot for DR’s anticipated drama Follow The Money.
Kingsley is repped by CAA, Hutcherson by CAA and The Beddingfield Company and Fly by UTA and Independent Talent Group.