Bleecker Street has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Sean Ellis’ World War II drama Anthropoid from LD Entertainment. The film is based on the true story of “Operation Anthropoid,” the code name for the Czech operatives’ mission to assassinate SS officer Reinhard Heydrich. It stars Peaky Blinders‘ Cillian Murphy and 50 Shades of Grey‘s Jamie Dornan.
It means the film goes up against the Weinstein Co.’s HHhH, about the same subject, which stars Rosamund Pike and Jack O’Connell.
Heydrich, the main architect behind the Final Solution, was the Reich’s third in command behind Hitler and Himmler and the leader of Nazi forces in Czechoslovakia. Anthropoid follows two soldiers from the Czech army-in-exile, Josef Gabčík (Murphy) and Jan Kubiš (Dornan), who are parachuted into their occupied homeland in December 1941. With limited intelligence and little equipment in a city under lockdown, they must find a way to assassinate Heydrich, an operation that would change the face of Europe forever.
Ellis (Metro Manila) directed from a screenplay by Ellis and Anthony Frewin. Charlotte Le Bon, Ana Geislerová, Harry Lloyd, Bill Milner and Toby Jones co-star. Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon and Ellis produced.
“Sean Ellis’ film drops you right into the center of resistance in WWII and takes viewers on an emotional ride all the way through its heart-stopping finale,” said Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen. “We’re proud to partner with Mickey and Pete on this film, which we feel will resonate with adult audiences this summer.”
The deal was negotiated between Kent Sanderson of Bleecker Street with Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street; and Eric Thompson, ICM Partners, and UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers.