FilmNation Entertainment To Finance IRONBARK Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Set To Be Directed By Dominic Cooke
42, SUNNYMARCH AND FILMNATION ENTERTAINMENT WILL PRODUCE THE PROJECT
FilmNation Entertainment have announced that it is financing and handling international sales on the upcoming Benedict Cumberbatch starrer, 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.
42 is a management and production company, with offices in London and Los Angeles. Established in 2013, 42 is run by five partners: producers Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh and managers Kate Buckley, Cathy King and Josh Varney.
42’s management division represents an eclectic range of high profile and emerging talent. The company’s client list includes actors, writers, directors, producers, and casting directors.
Current and upcoming film releases include THE TITAN starring Sam Worthington and Taylor Schilling and IN DARKNESS, directed by Anthony Byrne and starring Natalie Dormer and Ed Skrein.
Films in pre-production include IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON directed by Jim Mickle and starring Boyd Holbrook which is being financed by Netflix. Films in post-production include André Øvredal’s MORTAL, a fantasy adventure based on ancient Norwegian mythology.
Previous film credits include Øvredal’s THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE; Eran Creevy’s COLLIDE, starring Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ben Kingsley; war drama SAND CASTLE starring Nicholas Hoult and Henry Cavill, which was released on Netflix globally; THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR, for 20th Century Fox, directed by Johannes Roberts; London-based crime thriller WELCOME TO THE PUNCH, exec produced by Ridley Scott; and the BAFTA-nominated feature film SHIFTY, starring Riz Ahmed.
42’s TV projects in production include JERUSALEM, a 6-part drama series commissioned by Channel 4, written by Bash Doran, currently shooting, and starring Michael Stuhlbarg, Emma Appleton, Keeley Hawes and Luke Treadaway; WATERSHIP DOWN, a 4 x 1 hour animated mini-series for BBC and Netflix, adapted from the global best-selling book by Richard Adams, written by Tom Bidwell, and starring James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, John Boyega, Sir Ben Kingsley, Daniel Kaluuya, Gemma Arterton and Olivia Colman, which is in production, and due to TX later this year; THE ENGLISH GAME, a 6-part drama series for Netflix, written by Julian Fellowes; and a number of other series in development with UK and US broadcasters.
SunnyMarch is an independent TV and film production company founded by Adam Ackland and Benedict Cumberbatch in 2013. Upcoming film projects include an original thriller from Steven Knight, an adaptation of Matt Haig's bestseller 'How to Stop Time', a film based on the Geoffrey Household's classic 'Rogue Male', and an adaptation of Megan Hunter's bestselling and critically acclaimed debut novel 'The End We Start From'.
About FilmNation Entertainment
FilmNation Entertainment is a leading distributor, financier and producer of independent films and is a destination for many of the world's most renowned filmmakers including Steven Soderbergh, Terrence Malick, Pedro Almodóvar, Jonathan Glazer, Sofia Coppola, Jeff Nichols, J.C. Chandor, Rian Johnson, Anton Corbijn, Lenny Abrahamson, Denis Villeneuve, and John Lee Hancock. Founded in 2008 by veteran film executive Glen Basner, FilmNation has established itself as a home for specialty filmmaking with global appeal by focusing on a highly selective group of filmmakers and projects that emphasize both creative integrity and commercial potential. FilmNation is consistently ranked as one of the highest-grossing independent international film distributors. The company has become a prolific and respected producer, and its titles are amongst the most critically lauded in the film industry. FilmNation has more than 40 Academy Award® nominations and eight wins since its inception.
The company heads to this year’s Cannes Film Market with three of the market’s biggest new sales titles including: spy thriller 355 to be directed by Simon Kinberg and starring an international powerhouse cast including Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Fan Bingbing and Lupita Nyong’o; Pedro Almodovar’s DOLOR Y GLORIA starring Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz; and Jude Law starrer THE NEST. FilmNation brings to the Cannes Film Festival this year Critics’ Week Opening Night film WILDLIFE directed by Paul Dano and starring Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal.
FilmNation’s upcoming slate showcases the work of many of today’s most exciting filmmakers including: Sebastian Lelio’s DISOBEDIENCE starring Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola; Richard Eyre’s THE CHILDREN ACT starring Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci and Fionn Whitehead; and Dan Fogelman’s LIFE ITSELF featuring an all-star cast that includes Oscar Isaac, Samuel L. Jackson, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas and Annette Bening. The company is in post-production on Sebastian Lelio’s GLORIA starring Julianne Moore.
In recent years, FilmNation has produced and financed: Denis Villeneuve’s Academy Award® winning ARRIVAL starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner; and Michael Showalter’s critically acclaimed indie box office hit THE BIG SICK starring Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano. In 2018, the company is producing Tom Hanks starrer GREYHOUND, Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson starrer LATE NIGHT, and THE LODGE starring Riley Keough.