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Benedict Cumberbatch to star in Cold War thriller Ironbark


FilmNation Entertainment has announced that it is financing and handling international sales on the upcoming Benedict Cumberbatch film, Ironbark. The film is based on the true story of Greville Wynne (Cumberbatch), a British businessman who helped the CIA penetrate the Soviet nuclear program during the Cold War. Wynne and his Russian source, Oleg Penkovsky, provided the crucial intelligence that ended the Cuban Missile Crisis. Dominic Cooke (ON CHESIL BEACH) will direct and executive produce with Cumberbatch and Tom O’Connor (THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD). The project is based on a spec script by O’Connor. FilmNation Entertainment will debut IRONBARK to buyers at the 2018 Cannes Marche du Film (Cannes Film Market) next week. FilmNation Entertainment previously handled international sales on the Academy Award® winning film, THE IMITATION GAME starring Cumberbatch. UTA Independent Film Group will handle US Sales.

42’s Ben Pugh and Rory Aitken (IN DARKNESS, “Jerusalem” & SAND CASTLE) will produce the feature, alongside Adam Ackland (THE CURRENT WAR, “Patrick Melrose”), SunnyMarch and FilmNation Entertainment. Benedict Cumberbatch, Dominic Cooke and Tom O’Connor will executive produce along with Josh Varney (IN DARKNESS, “Watership Down”) from 42 and Leah Clarke of SunnyMarch. The deal was negotiated by UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers, along with Alison Cohen for FilmNation Entertainment.

Adam Ackland, Managing Director at SunnyMarch said, “We’re delighted to be working with Dominic Cooke, Tom O’Connor, FilmNation and 42, bringing this thrilling and timely true story to the screen.”

Ben Pugh and Rory Aitken, Partners at 42 added, “Tom O’Connor has written a masterful script, and with Dominic Cooke directing and Benedict Cumberbatch starring, we’re looking forward to collaborating with this uniquely talented team to bring IRONBARK to the screen.”

Glen Basner, CEO of FilmNation Entertainment commented: “We are delighted to be working with Benedict again and to have his abundant creativity on both sides of the camera. Dominic is a master director and he and Benedict’s work together on “The Hollow Crown” produced breathtaking results. We anticipate a very exciting second collaboration on IRONBARK.”

Emmy Award® winner and Academy Award® nominee, Benedict Cumberbatch is currently starring in AVENGERS: INFINITIY WAR and Showtime’s hotly anticipated mini-series “PATRICK MELROSE”. Previous work includes THE IMITATION GAME, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, as well as Marvel Comics franchise features DOCTOR STRANGE, AVENGERS and Emmy Award-winning television series, SHERLOCK.

Dominic Cooke is a four-time Laurence Olivier Award-winning and BAFTA-nominated director. His prominent directorial work at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre includes THE CRUCIBLE, CLYBOURNE PARK, MA RAINY’S BLACK BOTTOM and FOLLIES. Cooke most recently completed his feature film directorial debut, ON CHESIL BEACH, starring Academy Award® nominated actress Saoirse Ronan.

Tom O’Connor’s writing career began with his spec script, THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD, which made the 2011 Black List. The film was released last year, starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, and was the number one movie in America for three weeks running. Currently, O’Connor is writing the forthcoming sequel, THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD 2. A former advertising executive, O’Connor is a member of the Writers Guild of America.

Benedict Cumberbatch is represented by UTA and John Grant at Conway Van Gelder Grant. Dominic Cooke is represented by UTA and Jodi Shields at Casarotto Ramsay & Associates. Tom O’Connor is represented by UTA.

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