Studio Teams With 30WEST, Topic Studios, and BBC Films on Film Starring Jodie Foster and Tahar Rahim With Shailene Woodley and Benedict Cumberbatch
STXfilms has won the US rights to BAFTA and Academy Award winning director Kevin Macdonald’s untitled legal thriller formerly known as “Prisoner 760”, starring Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA winner Jodie Foster and BAFTA nominee Tahar Rahim, with Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Shailene Woodley and Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch. The highly anticipated film, from 30WEST, Topic Studios, and BBC Films, will also be distributed in the UK and Ireland by STXinternational, as previously announced. STXinternational also acquired the international rights to the film last fall at the AFM. Today’s announcement was made by Adam Fogelson, chairman of the Motion Picture Group for STXfilms.
The untitled film tells the explosive true story of a fight for survival against all odds. Captured by the US government, Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Rahim) languishes in prison for years without charge or trial. Losing all hope, Slahi finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Woodley). Together, they face countless obstacles in a desperate pursuit for justice. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Stuart Couch (Cumberbatch), eventually reveals a shocking and far reaching conspiracy.
Fogelson said, “We are proud to partner with 30WEST, Topic Studios, and BBC Films on this extraordinary and important true story. The film features memorable performances by Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim, Shailene Woodley, who we have the pleasure of working with again, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Kevin has made a powerful and thought-provoking drama and a great legal thriller that we are excited to share with audiences in the US and around the world through our international distribution partners.”
The film is based on Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s New York Times bestselling memoir “Guantánamo Diary”. Macdonald directs from a screenplay by Michael Bronner and Rory Haines & Sohrab Noshirvani. Michael Bronner is a screenwriter, producer, director, long-time journalist and former staff producer on 60 minutes. His work has been recognised by the Peabody Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Emmys. Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani previously wrote “The Informer” for Amazon and the BBC, and have an overall deal with FX where they are developing multiple projects.
Production on the film wrapped earlier this year in South Africa. Cumberbatch is producing with Adam Ackland and Leah Clarke for their company SunnyMarch, alongside Lloyd Levin and Beatriz Levin for Shadowplay Features, Mark Holder and Christine Holder through their newly formed venture Wonder Street, and Branwen Prestwood-Smith. Michael Bronner also serves as producer. Financiers are 30WEST and Topic Studios in partnership with BBC Films, which also developed the project. Executive Producers are 30WEST principals Micah Green, Dan Steinman and Dan Friedkin, Topic Studios’ Maria Zuckerman, Ryan Heller and Michael Bloom, and BBC Films’ Rose Garnett. Jim Reeve and Robert Halmi are executive producing for Great Point Media, and Zak Kilberg and Russell Smith are executive producing for Convergent Media. Larry Siems and Mohamedou Ould Slahi serve as co-producers.
UTA Independent Film Group helped structure the financing on behalf of the filmmakers and represented the U.S. sale with 30WEST.
30WEST provides capital and strategic guidance to high caliber creative projects and forward-thinking companies operating throughout popular culture. Its media practice works with filmmakers to guide every stage of creative packaging, production, sales, distribution and licensing in order to maximize production quality and audience reach. 30WEST was founded in 2017. Micah Green is the CEO and co-president, Dan Steinman is the COO and co-president, and Dan Friedkin is the Executive Chairman.
Most recently, 30WEST executive produced, packaged and sold the acclaimed series “Tiger King” to Netflix. They are in post-production on “Violence of Action” starring Chris Pine and directed by Tarik Saleh. 30WEST executive produced and financed “Late Night”, starring Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson, which they sold to Amazon following its world premiere in Sundance; Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer” starring Nicole Kidman; and Peter Hedges’ “Ben Is Back”, starring Julia Roberts. Other 30WEST projects include: Chris Smith’s acclaimed documentary “FYRE” (Netflix); Craig Gillespie’s “I, Tonya”, starring Margot Robbie and Academy Award winner Allison Janney; and Wash Westmoreland’s “Colette” starring Keira Knightley.
ErosSTX, (“ErosSTX” or “The Company”) (NYSE:EROS) is a global entertainment company that acquires, co-produces and distributes films, digital content & music across multiple formats such as theatrical, television and OTT digital media streaming to consumers around the world. The company was formed in July 2020 through the merger of two international media and entertainment groups, Eros International Plc and STX Entertainment. Merging the largest Indian OTT player and premiere studio with one of Hollywood’s fastest-growing independent media companies has created an entertainment powerhouse with a presence in over 150 countries. ErosSTX delivers star-driven premium feature film and episodic content across a multitude of platforms at the intersection of the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing global markets, including US, India, Middle East Asia and China. The Company owns subsidiaries including STXfilms and STXinternational and also owns the rapidly growing OTT platform Eros Now which has rights to over 12,000 films across Hindi and regional languages, and had 196.8 million registered users and 29.3 million paying subscribers as of March 30th, 2020. For further information, please visit Erosplc.com or STXentertainment.com until the company launches its new ErosSTX.com site and logo in September.
About Topic Studios
Topic Studios, the award-winning entertainment studio from First Look Media, develops, finances, and produces provocative and entertaining content for all platforms, including theatrical, streaming, television, and podcasts. From Academy Award winning films (“Spotlight”) to documentaries (“The Fight”, now available in theaters and on-demand, with Magnolia, and “Mucho Mucho Amor,” streaming on Netflix); to television (the docu-series “Love Fraud” premiering on Showtime August 30 and “Losers” on Netflix); and pioneering podcasts (“Missing Richard Simmons” and “Running from COPS,” “Anthem,” written by John Cameron Mitchell & Bryan Weller, featuring Glenn Close, Cynthia Erivo, and Patti LuPone, and the investigative podcast “Somebody” with iHeart Media). Films coming soon from Topic Studios include Michael Angelo Covino’s “The Climb” (Sony Pictures Classics); Euros Lyn’s “Dream Horse”, starring Toni Collette and Damian Lewis (with Bleecker Street); and “The Nowhere Inn”, written by and starring Carrie Brownstein (“Portlandia”) and Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent). Other upcoming projects include Pablo Larrain’s Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, acquired with NEON at Cannes this year, and a film exploring the connection between Chinatown restaurants and the rise of punk music produced by and starring Golden Globe winner Awkwafina.
About BBC Films
BBC Films supports invigorating and imaginative filmmaking. BBC Films has an ambitious slate across development and production; every film is linked by a sense of urgency – these are stories for now.
BBC Films has supported four films selected for Cannes 2020. Three in Official Selection: Francis Lee’s “Ammonite” starring Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet; Steve McQueen’s “Mangrove” starring Letitia Wright, Shaun Parkes and Malachi Kirby; and “Lovers Rock”, also from Steve McQueen, starring Amarah-Jae St Aubyn in her screen debut opposite Micheal Ward; and one film in Critics’ Week, Aleem Khan’s debut “After Love”, starring Joanna Scanlan.
Recent BBC Films releases include “Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always” the third film from Eliza Hittman, winner of U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Neorealism at Sundance and the Silver Bear at Berlinale; “Misbehaviour” from Philippa Lowthorpe starring Keira Knightley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jessie Buckley; Oscar-winning “Judy” directed by Rupert Goold and starring Renée Zellweger as the iconic Judy Garland; “Blue Story”, the debut feature from Andrew ‘Rapman’ Onwubolu and starring newcomers Stephen Odubola and Rising Star BAFTA-winner Micheal Ward; Ken Loach’s “Sorry We Missed You”, written by regular collaborator Paul Laverty; Joanna Hogg’s “The Souvenir”, which won the International Grand Jury Prize at Sundance; and Jonathan Glazer’s extraordinary short “The Fall”, which is on iPlayer now.
Upcoming BBC Films titles include Jane Campion’s first feature film for 10 years, “The Power of the Dog” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst; Sean Durkin’s “The Nest”, starring Jude Law and Carrie Coon; “Pirates”, the directorial debut of Reggie Yates; “Herself” directed by Phyllida Lloyd from a script by Clare Dunne and Malcolm Campbell; “Here Before”, the debut of acclaimed playwright, Stacey Gregg starring Andrea Riseborough; “His House” by first-time UK writer/director, Remi Weekes; “Surge”, the debut feature from director Aneil Karia starring Ben Whishaw; “Mogul Mowgli”, directed by Bassam Tariq and co-written, produced by and starring Riz Ahmed, winner of the International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI) at Berlinale; “Triangle of Sadness”, the English language debut of Ruben Östlund starring Woody Harrelson, Harris Dickinson and Charlbi Dean; “The Souvenir: Part II”, Joanna Hogg’s sequel to her Sundance award-winner; “People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan”, directed by Jack Clough and written by Steve Stamp and Allan Mustafa, with additional material by Asim Chaudhry, Hugo Chegwin and Lily Brazier; and “Supernova” from Harry Macqueen starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci.