One of the most interesting stories to come out of the Vietnam War is heading to the big screen. Carey Mulligan has been set to star in and produce On The Other Side, a film that will center on Kate Webb, the female war correspondent who was held in captivity for 23 days by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. First Look Media’s entertainment studio Topic will finance the movie and co-produce with Margot Hand of Picture Films and Edet Belzberg of EBM Productions. A spring 2018 production start is planned.
This is a story that many older journalists will remember. Based on Webb’s 1972 book On The Other Side: 23 Days With The Vietcong, the movie will tell the story of one of the great war reporters of her generation and how she would pave the way for female war correspondents to come. Covering the Vietnam War for UPI, she survived fierce battles and 23 days of captivity in the jungles of Cambodia after she was taken hostage by Communist Forces in 1971. She was believed to be dead — her obit even ran in the New York Times — before she was released. She covered numerous conflicts including the Soviets’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. The New Zealand-born Webb, whose mother and father both died in a car accident when she was in her mid-teens, died of cancer in 2007 at age 64.
First Look Media EVP Programming and Content Adam Pincus and SVP Narrative Film Annie Marter will oversee for Topic, which adds this after it recently acquired U.S. rights to Tali Shpemesh and Asaf Sudry’s Death In The Terminal, executive produced by Megan Ellison and Mark Boal, and is producing projects including Rodrigo Prieto’s directorial debut Bastard and Morgan Spurlock’s No Man’s Land.
The On The Other Side deal was negotiated by First Look, WME Global and Linda Lichter of Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler & Feldman.
“I’m so excited to bring Kate Webb’s remarkable story to the screen,” said Mulligan. “Her integrity, curiosity about the unknown and tenacity set her apart from many other journalists of her time and ultimately saved her life. In a world of increasing division, I can’t think of a more relevant character to portray today. Someone who’s very survival depended on her desire to understand the other side of the story, to obtain the truth and to report it faithfully. It is an honor to embark on this project with such a talented team of producers.”
Added First Look president Michael Bloom: “As one of the few women reporters to cover the Vietnam War, Kate Webb endured and ultimately survived the most harrowing experiences a war correspondent could ever face. In a time where journalism is being tested today, we’re excited that Carey will portray this fearless woman and look forward to partnering with her, Margot and Edet to bring this incredible story to life.”
Mulligan is now shooting David Hare’s BBC’s miniseries Collateral ahead of its November bow and will next be seen in Dee Rees’ Mudbound which will premiere in theaters and on Netflix in the fall. She also just wrapped the Paul Dano-directed Wildlife opposite Jake Gyllenhaal. She is repped by WME and Julian Belfrage Associates.