EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Biel has joined, Richard Schiff is finalizing a deal, and newcomer Luke Tennie is on board to team with Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Alec Baldwin, James Marsden and Milla Jovovich in Rob Reiner’s Shock And Awe, which is in pre-production for a September start.
The film is being financed by Savvy Media Holdings and Acacia Filmed Entertainment. Reiner, Matthew George and Michele Reiner are producing. Voltage Films is handling worldwide sales.
Written by Joey Hartstone — who penned Reiner’s LBJ, also starring Harrelson — the politically charged project centers on a group of journalists who asked the tough questions about Saddam Hussein’s alleged WMDs after the Bush administration sold the Iraq War to the American public and via speeches at the UN.
Biel plays the significant other of Marsden, who meets him and falls in love. Schiff, who is in final negotiations, plays a guy nicknamed “The Usual’ who is a deep-background source from the intelligence community. Tennie’s fictional character is a paralyzed combat veteran who testifies during the Senate hearing on the circumstances surrounding the Iraq War. He represents the U.S. solider and the human consequence of war.
The movie follows Knight-Ridder reporters Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel, who, after the events of 9/11, meet with their bureau chief John Walcott to get to the bottom of who was responsible. They find that the Bush Administration was trying to tie Saddam Hussein to the terror attacks, even though there was no true evidence to support the claim.
As the push for war in Iraq increases, they bring in legendary reporter Joe Galloway to give them the high-level sources to help counter the false narrative of Hussein, al-Qaeda and WMDs. After the invasion, their reporting proves true.
Biel is repped by WME and LBI Entertainment. Schiff is repped by Paradigm, Curtis Brown Group and Leverage Management. Tennie, a recent graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, is represented by Abrams Artists Agency and Primary Wave Entertainment.