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Helen Mirren is former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir in this first look for Guy Nattiv’s upcoming biopic Golda, which has now started shooting in London.
Camille Cottin — star of Netflix’s French hit Call My Agent — has also joined the cast of the film, written by Nicholas Martin (Florence Foster Jenkins) and set during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, when Egypt, Syria and Jordan launched a surprise attack on Israel to reclaim territory lost during the Six-Day War in 1967. Described as a “ticking-clock thriller,” Golda charts the high-stakes responsibilities Meir faced and the controversial decision she made amid infighting among her hostile all-male cabinet.
“Golda Meir was a formidable, intransigent and powerful leader,” said Mirren. “It is a great challenge to portray her at the most difficult moment of her extraordinary life. I only hope I do her justice!”
Cottin — who recently starred alongside Matt Damon in Tom McCarthy’s Stillwater and in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci — will play Lou Kaddar, Meir’s longtime personal assistant, who stood beside her throughout the war. Meanwhile, Rami Heuberger (Schindler’s List) will portray minister of defense Moshe Dayan, with Lior Ashkenazi (Foxtrot, 7 Days in Entebbe) playing chief of staff David Elazar. The cast also includes Ellie Piercy (Black Mirror, The Dig), Ed Stoppard (Judy, Youth), Rotem Keinan, Dvir Benedek, Dominic Mafham, Ben Caplan, Kit Rakusen and Emma Davies.
“I have long been an admirer of the great Helen Mirren,” said Nattiv. “She has melted so brilliantly into Golda Meir’s character with incredible talent, intelligence, depth and emotion, doing justice to the richness and complexity of this incredible woman.”
As previously announced, Bleecker Street and ShivHans acquired U.S. rights to the film in a deal negotiated by ICM Independent and CAA Media Finance. Sales company Embankment also presold Golda to multiple international territories, including Australia and New Zealand (Transmission), Italy (Leone), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Benelux (The Searchers), Switzerland (Ascot Elite), Spain, Portugal and Latin America (Sun/Diamond), the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltics (Exponenta), Greece (Spentzos), South Africa (Film Finity), Israel (United King), Middle East (Front Row), Hong Kong (Golden Scene), India (Lionsgate) and Taiwan (Cai Chang).
Financing is provided by Piccadilly Pictures and Maven Pictures and has been arranged by Embankment, ICM Independent and CAA Media Finance. Celine Rattray for Maven, and Ian Hutchinson, Robert Whitehouse and Christopher Figg for Piccadilly, are executive producers.
Golda is produced by Michael Kuhn (Florence Foster Jenkins, The Duchess) for Qwerty Films as well as Jane Hooks and Nicholas Martin. The film shoots for six weeks in London and on location in Israel.
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