Paul Bettany, Natalie Dormer, Martin Freeman, Anthony Hopkins and Harrison Ford have joined the cast of the Justin Chadwick-directed espionage thriller Official Secrets. The pic is based on the bestselling book The Spy Who Tried To Stop A War: Katherine Gun And The Secret Plot To Sanction The Iraq Invasion by Marcia and Thomas Mitchell. Sara and Gregory Bernstein penned the script and Elizabeth Fowler (Devil’s Knot) is producing. Principal photography is set to start in May in the UK.
The Solution Entertainment Group’s Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel are executive producing the feature film and handling financing and international sales beginning next month at EFM. UTA Independent Film Group packaged the project and represents domestic rights.
The plot: In the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, 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 London Observer. Her arrest following the leak makes headlines around the world, and in an attempt to gain the evidence to free Katharine, Martin unearths a shocking plot that puts both of their lives in jeopardy.
Freeman will play the Observer‘s foreign affairs editor Peter Edwards, Hopkins a retired UK general and Ford a CIA agent.
Chadwick, whose credits include Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and The Other Boleyn Girl, recently wrapped the Weinsteins’ Tulip Fever with Christoph Waltz and Alicia Vikander.