EXCLUSIVE: Makeready has set Francis Lawrence to direct Five Faces of Maria, a fact-based drama that will go under the worldwide theatrical distribution deal with eOne and Universal Pictures that former New Regency CEO and Paramount president Brad Weston put in place when he launched the company.
The film will be scripted by Gina Welch, whose recent credits include episodes of Castle Rock, Feud and Ray Donovan. Five Faces of Maria tells the true story of Maria Bochkareva, a Russian soldier who overcame poverty and abuse to fight alongside male soldiers in WWI. After rising through the ranks and displaying stringent discipline and unwavering support for the motherland, Maria formed and led the Women’s Battalion of Death, the first all-female Russian combat regiment. She recruited nearly 2000 women and had great success on the Eastern front.
The film will be produced by Erwin Stoff and Lawrence. The director most recently completed Red Sparrow, reuniting with Jennifer Lawrence, whom he directed in three Hunger Games blockbusters.
Lawrence is repped by CAA, 3 Arts and Hanson Jacobson; Welch by CAA, Oasis and Gang, Tyre.
Makeready puts its first film in production early next year with A Million Little Pieces, an adaptation of the James Frey book to be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and star Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Makeready will fully fund the film, with Sierra/Affinity handling international. Makeready last week won rights to adapt the Matthew Baker short story The Appearance. Ian MacAllister-McDonald is writing, and The Picture Company partners Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman will produce with Pam Abdy,