EXCLUSIVE: Vertical Entertainment and DirecTV have team to acquire U.S. rights to Shock and Awe, the Rob Reiner film about the team of journalists who were the only ones who “got it right” when they questioned the true nature of the George W. Bush White House’s justification to enter into the Iraq War. The plan is for a theatrical release in July following an exclusive premiere window on DirecTV that starts in June.
Written by Reiner’s LBJ screenwriter Joey Hartstone, Shock and Awe tells the politically charged story about real-life Knight-Ridder journalists Jonathan Landay (Woody Harrelson), Warren Strobel (James Marsden), John Walcott (Reiner) and Joseph Galloway (Tommy Lee Jones), who first looked into the Bush Administration’s attempts to tie Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 terror attacks despite a lack of true evidence to support the claim (i.e., weapons of mass destruction). The film follows the team’s efforts to defend their journalistic integrity against a raft of misleading stories from the White House.
Milla Jovovich, Jessica Biel, Luke Tennie and Richard Schiff co-star in the pic, which is produced and financed by Matthew George’s Acacia Filmed Entertainment and Savvy Media Holdings, with Reiner’s Castle Rock Entertainment also producing. Reiner, George, Michele Reiner and Elizabeth A. Bell are producers; Martin Shafer, Tracy Harshman, Kevin J. Wadzinski, Nicholas Chartier, Jonathan Deckter and Wayne Marc Godfrey are exec producers.
“We could not be more excited to partner with filmmaking legend Rob Reiner to bring this timely and topical political drama to audiences all over the U.S.,” said Vertical co-president Rich Goldberg.
The deal was negotiated by Vertical’s Goldberg and Peter Jarowey and CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.