EXCLUSIVE: Sienna Miller and Giancarlo Giannini have joined The Catcher Was A Spy, the Ben Lewin-directed drama that stars Paul Rudd, Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti and Jeff Daniels. Robert Rodat adapted the script from Nicholas Dawidoff’s bestselling book that tells the true story of Moe Berg, a major league ballplayer who was an important spy against the Nazis in WWII.
While they call catcher’s equipment “the tools of ignorance,” Berg was the extreme exception, an Ivy League graduate with a law degree who spoke nine languages. A so-so catcher who was mostly a utility player, Berg’s place in history isn’t etched on a baseball card but rather in his spying efforts for the OSS that helped America win the race against Germany to build the atomic bomb. The film is centered around Berg’s most important mission during the war – infiltrating the circle of Werner Heisenberg, the enigmatic lead scientist for the Nazi atomic program. Berg is managed in these clandestine endeavors by The Father of Central Intelligence, O.S.S. Chief “Wild Bill” Donovan (Daniels), and he was assisted by a military specialist, Furman (Pearce) and a renowned physicist, Goudsmit (Giamatti). While the movie would lead the league in irony if the Heisenberg role went to Bryan Cranston, they are expected to set a European actor for the part.
Miller plays Estella Huni, Berg’s love interest. Her recent turns have included American Sniper, The Lost City of Z and Live By Night. Giannini plays Italian physicist Professor Eduardo Amaldi. Miller is represented by CAA and United Agents and Giannini is represented by Studio Squillante.
PalmStar Media, coming off Split and John Wick: Chapter 2, is producing with Animus Films. PalmStar Media is financing the film with Windy Hill Pictures, whose recent films include Hacksaw Ridge, Collateral Beauty and Sing Street). UTA Independent Film Group is packaging and co-representing the film with PalmStar.