EXCLUSIVE: Luke Evans and Henry Cavill have joined Nicholas Hoult in Sand Castle, the war drama being directed by Fernando Coimbra (Narcos) based on the screenplay by Chris Roessner. Roessner was previously Mark Gordon’s assistant and his former boss is producing with Treehouse Pictures’ Justin Nappi and 42’s Ben Pugh. Shooting is now set to start November 2.
Set in Iraq circa 2003, the pic is based on Roessner’s experience as a machine gunner in Iraq’s Sunni Triangle. The plot centers on Matt Ocre (Hoult), who is part of a mission to repair a broken water system in the dangerous and unstable Iraqi village of Baqubah. While the people of Baghdad welcome the Americans as saviors, the villagers resist their presence and Matt and his unit must try to convince the community that they are part of the solution, not the problem, in order to save the town and get out alive. Evans is playing the sergeant in charge of Ocre’s unit and Cavill is the special forces captain running the operation in Baqubah.
Voltage Pictures is handling international sales for the film and will present it at next month’s American Film Market. Producers hold U.S. rights to the pic, which Gordon has shepherded from the start. Treehouse (Arbitrage, All Is Lost) is fully financing. Brian Kavanaugh-Jones is executive producer.
“It took little convincing for me to come on board to produce this extraordinary and gripping film which so accurately depicts the intricacies of real people in extreme circumstances,” says Nappi. “I am excited about our amazing lead cast who, in the hands of our masterful director Fernando, will deliver the most powerful performances of their careers. Nicholas, Luke and Henry are a dream team, as are my fellow producers Mark and Ben.”
Gordon added, “Chris was my assistant and we worked on the script together for some time. It’s very exciting to see the movie come together with a wonderfully talented director and an amazing cast.”
Hoult is coming off of summer’s Mad Max: Fury Road and has X-Men: Apocalypse in May 2016. He’s reppped by 42, UTA and Fred Toczek. Evans, who was in smash Furious 7 and the recent Toronto talker High-Rise, is next up in Bill Condon’s Beauty And The Beast. He’s repped by WME and United Agents. Cavill, next up in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice after this summer’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E., is repped by CAA, attorney David Weber and United Agents in the UK. Coimbra is repped by CAA, Echo Lake Management and Julian Zajfen at Ziffren