EXCLUSIVE: Another hot Cannes package: Liam Neeson, starring in Charlie Johnson in the Flames. Tarik Saleh will direct an adaptation of the Michael Ignatieff thriller novel. Script is by Justin Haythe. Michael London is producing through Groundswell Productions, along with Jawal Nga and Edward Saxon. 30WEST is financing. Sierra/Affinity will broker international sales and CAA and 30 WEST will broker U.S. rights. CAA Media Finance arranged the pic’s funding.
Neeson will play the title character, a peerless BBC war correspondent covering civil unrest in the Congo. When the death of an innocent woman shakes him to his core, he risks everything to expose the truth, only to find himself embroiled in a network of murder, corruption, and violence that forces him to question his humanity.
Neeson has as strong a global track record as anyone with a film in the Cannes market, including the Taken trilogy and most recently The Commuter. His movies have grossed over $7 billion worldwide.
Saleh wrote and directed The Nile Hilton Incident, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and got nominated for a Cesar Award for Best Foreign Film. His other work includes the 2009 animated film Metropia and 2014’s Tommy, the crime thriller which is being remade in English language by Universal Cable Productions. Saleh also recently directed an episode of HBO’s Westworld, and is developing another film with producer London, as well as a film with Black Label Media. Haythe’s script credits include Red Sparrow, The Lone Ranger, Snitch and Revolutionary Road, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA Award.
Neeson and Haythe are repped by CAA; Saleh by Gersh and Magnolia Entertainment; Ignatieff by WME and United Agents.