EXCLUSIVE: Imperative Entertainment has attached Bradley Cooper to star and Gavin O’Connor to direct Atlantic Wall, the Zach Dean-scripted WWII drama. Imperative’s Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas, who bought this as a pitch several years ago, are producing. Madhouse Entertainment’s Adam Kolbrenner also is producing. The drama tracks a lone American paratrooper stranded behind enemy lines hours before D-Day. His assignment is to deliver intelligence critical to the outcome of the war, and he is compelled to fulfill a promise to protect the young son of a murdered ally. The script made the 2015 Black List.
“We’re thrilled Imperative is bringing Atlantic Wall to life on screen with a talented filmmaker like Gavin,” Friedkin said. “Bradley’s phenomenal track record speaks for itself. He’s perfect to portray our complicated, often reluctant hero. We can’t imagine better creative partners.”
Cooper last wore combat fatigues in the 2014 blockbuster American Sniper. He’s also been working on his directorial debut, a remake of A Star Is Born, which he’ll star in with Lady Gaga. O’Connor is coming off the hit thriller The Accountant. All of those films were at Warner Bros, the studio where Cooper and partner Todd Phillips base their production company, Joint Effort. Cooper and Phillips will be exec producers alongside O’Connor and Robyn Meisinger. While Imperative intends to co-finance a film that will shoot on location in Normandy, it will secure a studio partner. Not surprisingly, I’ve heard the conversation is with Warner Bros, though no deal has been made.
The film is slated to shoot in 2018, which would give Cooper plenty of time to direct A Star Is Born before taking on the action thriller. He also is producing and developing Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS with HBO and is reprising his Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which Marvel and Disney release in May.
This becomes another major project for Imperative, which made its big splash as an up-and-coming financier/producer with its $5 million acquisition of the David Grann book Killers of the Flower Moon. Eric Roth is writing the script. More recently, Imperative won another big auction when it acquired the Christine Mangan novel Tangerine, a 1950s Morocco-set thriller/mystery that has Scarlett Johansson attached to star and George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse aboard to produce with Imperative’s Friedkin and Thomas.
Dean also wrote Voyagers at Warners Bros, the Carl Sagan story that Lynda Obst and Annie Druyan are producing. Also at Warner Bros is Methusaleh, his script that David Heyman is producing, which just got Joachim Ronning (co-director of Kon-Tiki and the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) as its helmer. The scribe also sold the pitch Ghost Draft to Skydance, with David Goyer’s Phantom Four producing.
Cooper is repped by CAA, and O’Connor is repped by WME. Dean repped by WME, Madhouse and attorney Andrew Hurwitz.