The movie is written by Captain Phillips co-producer Michael Bronner and is based on the gripping true story of con man Robert Hendy-Freegard, who masqueraded as an MI5 agent and manipulated and threatened multiple people into going underground for fear of assassination.
McMafia star Norton will play Freegard and is also producing through his banner Rabbit Track Pictures. The project comes under the ongoing investment and packaging deal between UK companies Great Point Media and The Development Partnership. Rabbit Track’s Kitty Kaletsky and The Development Partnership’s Robert Taylor are also producers. The team are aiming to shoot in 2021.
James Norton said, “We are so excited to be working with Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn. Their incredible show The Salisbury Poisonings was both gripping as well as deeply human, and showed their unique skill for dramatizing true stories.”
Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn said: “As soon as we heard the pitch for Freegard we were hooked. It’s one of the extraordinary stories of our times – a surreal tale of deceit and manipulation played out over many years. James is one of the finest actors around and it will be a true pleasure working with him and the rest of the team at Rabbit Track, TDP and Great Point.”
Great Point Media co-founder Jim Reeve, who is serving as an executive producer on the film, added, “We’re thrilled to have Adam and Declan on board and we’re confident that the duo will deliver something special we can all be proud of.”
Three-part series The Salisbury Poisonings debuted on the BBC in June. The drama was based on the deadly 2018 poisoning in Salisbury, in which a former Russian military officer and his daughter were found unconscious in a park, the victims of a nerve agent attack.