EXCLUSIVE: Hacksaw Ridge‘s Andrew Garfield has made a deal to star in and produce Black Lion, a drama that Alessandro Camon will write about the memorable life and controversial death of war correspondent Carlos Mavroleon. Daniela Taplin Lundberg’s Stay Gold Features acquired the project and is backing development. Garfield, Rupert Fowler and Taplin Lundberg are producing. Nicholas Mavroleon, Aidan Hartley will be exec producers with Camon, who wrote The Messenger. Mavroleon was a Harvard educated heir to a $100 million English/Greek shipping empire, who left a high-flying life as a Wall Street trader to become a war correspondent in Afghanistan, and more. Press reports had him at one point commanding a unit of Afghan Mujahideen against the Russians, and serving as a bodyguard for a Pakistani tribal chief. He became known for his daring and dashing good looks, and ability to operate in the most dangerous conflict zones in the world. The story will be framed by Mavroleon’s final assignment for 60 Minutes, where he was tasked with sneaking into Afghan tribal territories immediately after President Clinton’s 1998 missile strikes against Bin Laden’s camps, aimed at the perpetrators who bombed the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Mavroelon was one of the first journalists to discover the link between Pakistan and the Al Qaida/Taliban axis. He was subsequently found dead in a Peshawar motel room days later under mysterious circumstances.
Taplin Lundberg, former principal behind Red Crown Productions, formed Stay Gold Features in 2016 and unveiled its first film, Patti Cake$, to raves at Sundance, followed by a splashy Fox Searchlight deal. an all-night bidding war. Black Lion is its second deal with Garfield, after the company co-financed and execproduced the Garfield-starrer Under the Silver Lake, directed by It Follows helmer David Robert Mitchell. Stay Gold will produce and co-finance the Harriet Tubman biopic that will star Cynthia Erivo. Garfield and Fowler are separately in business with Fortitude International, developing a drama Fowler is writing that is called the untitled Adidas/Puma project. CAA, which reps Garfield and Camon, packaged the film and is selling domestic distribution. Garfield’s also repped by Gordon & French and attorney David Weber, and Camon by lawyer Robert Getman.