Russo Bros., 'World War Z' Writer Team for True-Life Iraqi War Story 'Mosul'

'World War Z' screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan is making his directorial debut with the project, which was shot in secret in Morocco.
Desiree Navarro/Getty Images; D Dipasupil/FilmMagic
Anthony and Joe Russo, Matthew Michael Carnahan

Filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo have teamed up with World War Z screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan for a true-life Middle Eastern thriller, Mosul, that will be presented at this week's American Film Market

And unlike other project unveilings, where producers hope to make splashy domestic deals or cobble together financing before a frame is even filmed, Mosul is already in post-production, having been shot in secret in Morocco earlier this spring.

Carnahan wrote and directed the feature, which marks his helming debut. But he was treading in semi-familiar terrain, having previously dived into Middle Eastern politics with The Kingdom, the 2007 Peter Berg thriller starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Gardner.

Mosul tells of the true story of an elite police unit made up almost entirely of native sons of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, who fought to liberate it from 6,000 ISIS militants who overran it in 2014.

The story is based on articles by Luke Mogelson, who embedded with the unit and documented the block-by-block fight for The New Yorker in 2016.

The Russos produced the movie via their AGBO banner, along with AGBO’s Mike Larocca. Also producing are Jeremy Steckler for Condé Nast Entertainment (The Old Man and the Gun) and Dawn Ostroff.

Carnahan drew a cast from the Middle East, North Africa and the Iraqi diaspora, feeling an obligation to portray the time, the events and the protagonists with unprecedented authenticity, according to the producers.

"Our writer-director Matthew Michael Carnahan was the perfect artist to depict this uniquely regional story, which champions a culture that has never really been championed on screen before,” said the Russos in a statement. “The heart of the movie depicts the innate desire to fight for country and home.”

Endeavor Content is repping worldwide sales at AFM.