Good Films Collective Taps Daniel Espinosa To Helm Jamal Khashoggi Murder Film; Gael García Bernal Stars In Drama On Preserving The Sarajevo Haggadah

Jamal Khashoggi Daniel Espinoza
(L-R) Jamal Khashoggi and Daniel Espinoza Shutterstock

EXCLUSIVE: Less than two months ago, Good Films Collective head Miriam Segal was in a spin, and described to Deadline how she was battling to keep her company afloat and her employees engaged as she and her son came down with COVID-19. She is feeling better now, especially after putting together several new projects that have strong elements and hot button subjects.

Gael Garcia Bernal Nazanin Boniadi Jason Isaacs
Gael Garcia Bernal, Nazanin Boniadi, Jason Isaacs Shutterstock

Gael García Bernal, Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland) and Jason Isaacs will star in People of the Book, a film that Good Films Collective has put together, based on the New York Times bestseller from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks. Pic tells the moving history behind the creation of the Sarajevo Haggadah — an illuminated manuscript that contains the illustrated traditional text of the Passover Haggadah which accompanies the Passover Seder. It originated in Barcelona in 1350, and the film will tell the journey taken by people from different cultures and religions who risked their lives to save it. The film will be helmed by Academy Award winner Danis Tanovic (No Man’s Land) and is written by Petter Skavlan (Kon Tiki).

Good Films Collective has also entered into a deal with Daniel Espinosa to develop to direct The Execution, a narrative drama about the background to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Arabian-born dissident and Washington Post columnist who was killed and dismembered after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to get a marriage license. The drama will explore how it happened, why it happened and what happened in the aftermath. Petter Skavlan is attached to write that one also. Espinosa directed Safe House and the upcoming Morbius with Jared Leto. Khashoggi was killed by a Saudi hit team that was closely connected to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Babak Najafi Anna Politkovskaya
Babak Najafi Anna Politkovskaya Shutterstock

Director Babak Najafi will direct Anna, an inspirational true political thriller about journalist Anna Politkovskaya’s brave crusade, fighting for an independent voice in Putin’s Russia. Najafi directed London Has Fallen and Snabba Cash II.

The producer is out to filmmakers on a Luke Garrett-scripted adaptation of the John Webster revenge tragedy, Duchess Of Malfi.

Segal said she and her Good Films cohorts are “thrilled to be collaborating with this immense level of talent across our upcoming projects. We always strive to create intelligent, relevant stories and forge talent partnerships that can carry from one film to the next, and these are no exception. We are committed to making all these films as soon as it is safe for both cast and crews to do so.”

Miriam Segal
Miriam Segal Courtesy of Damir Sagolj

The BBC vet Segal formed Good Films Collective in 2016 to make impactful films and recent films include the Bryan Cranston-starrer The Infiltrator, the Viggo Mortensen-starrer The Infiltrator, the Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker-starrer City of Lies, and the Jeffrey Dean Morgan-starrer The Postcard Killings.

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