EXCLUSIVE: Joe Wright is in talks to direct Brit production powerhouse Working Title’s Winston Churchill pic Darkest Hour. The director, who has a long history with Working Title co-toppers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, seems perfectly suited to the material, which takes place in 1940 as Churchill becomes Prime Minister in the midst of World War II and faces a moment of truth. Anthony McCarten, who wrote Working Title’s award-winning The Theory Of Everything, writes and produces here alongside Lisa Bruce and Bevan and Fellner.
The heavyweight filmmaking talent assembling behind the camera here puts this Churchill project right at the front of the queue. Production is set to start in July with the casting process to find their Churchill well underway.
Days into his new job as Prime Minister as Britain was getting pounded and on the verge of losing to Germany, Churchill was under pressure to make a deal with Hitler that would have established Britain as a puppet state of the Third Reich. His army stranded in Dunkirk, Churchill instead summoned the courage to fight on. The film is about his decisions, and the actions and immortal speeches in those critical days that defined his place in history and changed the destiny of the world.
Pic has been a passion project for McCarten, whose The Theory Of Everything grossed $125 million worldwide on a $15 million budget and won numerous awards, including the Best Actor Oscar for Eddie Redmayne. Darkest Hour brings Wright, who made his feature directing debut with Pride And Prejudice for Working Title, back to wartime Britain after his much-lauded Atonement, also with Working Title. That pic featured a memorable five-minute tracking shot re-creating the Dunkirk evacuation.
Wright is directing an episode of Netflix’s keenly anticipated new season of Charlie Brooker’s anthology series Black Mirror with Bryce Dallas Howard and Alice Eve aboard to star. Created and written by Brooker, each stand-alone episode is a suspenseful tale exploring themes of contemporary techno-paranoia.
Wright is repped by CAA.