EXCLUSIVE: Jason Bateman has been cast as FBI agent Charlie Bates in Felt opposite Liam Neeson. Bates discovers that FBI Deputy Director Mark Felt (Neeson) is leaking classified information on the Watergate investigation and is conflicted about whether to destroy his mentor or protect him. Felt uncovers the true story behind The Washington Post‘s Deep Throat in the Watergate scandal, which made heroes out of reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward when they exposed that the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters led right into the Oval Office. Those series of stories brought down President Nixon and most of his inner circle. Felt came forward in 2005 to reveal himself as Deep Throat. He died three years later.

The project, which is expected to go before the cameras in March, will be directed by Concussion helmer Peter Landesman from his own script. Diane Lane also is in the cast.

Marc Butan’s MadRiver Pictures will finance and produce alongside Scott Free Productions, Playtone and Cara Films. Ridley Scott, Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Giannina Scott, Marc Butan, Christopher Woodrow and Jay Roach will produce along with Landesman. Steven Shareshian and Michael Schaefer will executive produce alongside Michael Bassick and Steven Marshall.

CAA arranged the financing and will rep domestic at AFM. Sierra/Affinity will handle the foreign rights.