EXCLUSIVE: Dev Patel and Armie Hammer are in negotiations to star in Hotel Mumbai, about the 2008 terrorist attacks on the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai. Also in negotiations for the film, which is set to go into production in August in India and Australia, are Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland), Teresa Palmer (Triple 9) and Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory). Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) and Anupam Kher (Silver Linings Playbook) also have held early talks with the filmmakers about joining the project.
The basis for the screenplay, which is being written by John Collee and Anthony Maras, is the Emmy-nominated documentary Surviving Mumbai, a harrowing account of the terrorist attack on the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in India by a group of heavily armed Pakistani militants. For 68 hours, hundreds were held hostage as shots rang out and an enormous fire raged. When the smoke cleared, more than 160 people were dead in total as a result of the attacks and many more injured. Only the courageous actions of staff and guests prevented a much higher death toll in the hotel itself.
Patel will also be an exec producer on the project, which Anthony Maras will direct. Maras was shortlisted for an Academy Award for his short film The Palace, which also won two Australian Academy Awards. Basil Iwanyk is producing through his Thunder Road banner along with Arclight Films’ Gary Hamilton and Mike Gabrawy. Electric Pictures’ Andrew Ogilvie is also onboard as a producer as is Julie Ryan. Thunder Road’s Kent Kubena and Jonathan Fuhrman will exec produce. The filmmakers are in negotiations with Xeitgeist’s Joe Thomas and Mark Montgomery, who most recently worked with Patel on The Man Who Knew Infinity, to produce and co-finance. Arclight is handling sales in Berlin.
Patel has in the pipeline Garth Davis’ Lion, about an Indian boy separated from his family on the streets of Calcutta who gets adopted by an Australian family. He sets out 25 years later to find his family against all the odds. He is repped by Curtis Brown, WME and Magnolia Entertainment. Hammer most recently was seen in the indie sensation of the year The Birth of a Nation. The Nate Parker pic was acquired by Fox Searchlight in a record-breaking Sundance deal for $17.5 million. He has a number of projects in the works, including Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals. Hammer is repped by WME.
As revealed exclusively by Deadline last year, StudioCanal and Kudos Film and TV are also developing their own feature film about the Mumbai attacks with Justin Kurzel (Assassin’s Creed) set to direct and Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) adapting Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark’s book The Siege: 68 Hours Inside The Taj Hotel.