EXCLUSIVE: Ben Hardy, who is onscreen as Archangel in X-Men: Apocalypse, has joined the cast of Granite Mountain, portraying one of the heroic firemen whose life was lost in the battle to douse the 2013 Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona. He joins Jennifer Connelly, Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch and James Badge Dale in the feature directed by Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion, Tron: Legacy). The screenplay was written by Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down, Transformers: The Last Knight) and Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle, Splinter Cell).

Hotshots

The action-drama film is based on the real-life Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite group of 20 firefighters who courageously battled one of the deadliest wildfires in history to save the homes and lives of other Arizonians. Nineteen of the men died heroes on that hill when the wind changed and fire engulfed them from all sides. To the left is a photo of those whose lives were lost from the Prescott Fire Department. They died on June 30, 2013. The men’s ages ranged from 21 to 43.

In drafting the story, the filmmakers spoke to the lone surviving member, Brendan McDonough, then 21, who had been serving as a lookout for his fellow firefighters when they became trapped.

The film will be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers, Deepwater Horizon)Michael Menchel (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, One Chance); Black Label Media’s Molly Smith (Sicario, The Blind Side), Trent Luckinbill (Sicario, Rebel in the Rye) and Thad Luckinbill (Sicario, Rebel in the Rye); Erik Howsam (Shooter, G.I .Joe: Retaliation); and Conde Nast Entertainment’s Jeremy Steckler (Black Swan, Juno) and Dawn Ostroff (The First Monday in May, The New Yorker Presents); along with executive producer Ellen H. Schwartz (Miss Congeniality, Pretty Woman).

Hardy also recently co-starred in Haifaa Al-Mansour’s The Storm in the Stars opposite Elle Fanning, Bel Powley and Douglas Booth.

He is repped by WME, Untitled Entertainment, and the UK’s Creative Artists Management.