EXCLUSIVE: Munich-based Night Train Media, the company launched last year by former Tele Munchen Group MD Herbert Kloiber, is making its first movie investment in thriller Freegard, starring James Norton (Little Women), Gemma Arterton (The King’s Man) and Shazad Latif (Star Trek Discovery).
Production starts May 31st in London on the feature, which will also star Marisa Abela (Industry), Edwina Findley (The Wire), and Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh).
Based on true events, the movie will chart the story of career conman, Robert Freegard, played by Norton, with Gemma Arterton as the woman who brought him down. Freegard was a master manipulator who convinced countless victims he was undercover MI5 in order to extort and kidnap them. Initially falling for his charms, Arterton’s character became the architect of his downfall and her actions led to his conviction and arrest.
Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn will direct from a script by Michael Bronner (The Mauritanian), Patterson and Lawn (The Salisbury Poisonings), based on the article Chasing Agent Freegard by Bronner.
Freegard is a Rabbit Track Pictures and The Development Partnership production. Night Train Media is fully financing, controls worldwide rights and has come on board as co-producer. The film is produced in association with Great Point Media with support from Split Prism Media and Anhinga Media. Great Point Media also funded development of the title.
The movie is the first out of the gate for Rabbit Track, the London-based film and TV production company headed up by actor Norton and former LA-based Black Bear head of TV, Kitty Kaletsky.
Film and TV outfit Night Train Media has a content partnership with Nordic group NENT and in September announced long-term investment from Serafin Group to provide slate and overhead funding and Olivia Pahl as Head of Development and Co-Production.
The Development Partnership is the sister company of UK talent agency The Artists Partnership. Credits include Rose: A Love Story and upcoming thriller Close To Me for Channel 4/Viaplay.
Night Train CEO Herbert Kloiber said of the company’s first narrative feature: “We are incredibly excited to start our expansion into feature films with this incredible project and group of individuals. Everyone loves a compelling true crime con-artist story and I believe this one can become an instant classic”.
Robert Taylor of The Development Partnership commented: “I am delighted that Freegard is going into production. We have assembled a fantastic team – on camera and off. We felt since our first discussion with Adam and Declan about the project that they were the perfect directors to have at the helm and it is such a pleasure to partner with James and Kitty for Rabbit Track’s debut production. Now to have Gemma Arterton join James in leading our cast really is very exciting!”.
Rabbit Track’s Kitty Kaletsky added: “As our first project out the gate for Rabbit Track, James and I are thrilled to be working with such an exciting team on this insane and chilling story. We feel incredibly lucky to have Gemma and the rest of our wonderful cast on board and wouldn’t be here without Night Train Media, Great Point Media, our partner in crime Rob Taylor from TDP and the brilliantly talented Adam and Declan whom we can’t wait to see directing their debut.”
Jim Reeve, CEO of Great Point Media, said: “We are enormously proud that a project we have been involved with since development is coming to fruition. We’re excited for Rabbit Track, The Development Partnership and their creative teams to get to work on this unique and compelling story”.
Producers are Kitty Kaletsky, James Norton, Robert Taylor, Gina Carter, Michael Bronner and Night Train CEO Herbert Kloiber. Executive producers are Harold van Lier, Olivia Pahl, Jim Reeve and Robert Halmi.
Line producer is John Palfery-Smith, editor is Mags Arnold; director of photography is Larry Smith, production designer is Catrin Meredydd, costume designer is Emily Rose Yiaxis, makeup designer is Oscar-winner Christine Blundell and casting director is Julie Harkin.