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The feature centers on British Intelligence whistle-blower Katharine Gun (Knightley), who, during the immediate run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, leaked a top-secret NSA memo exposing a joint U.S.-U.K. illegal spying operation against members of the UN Security Council.
Oscar winner Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) will direct the film, which is set to begin shooting next month in England. Sara and Greg Bernstein penned the feature that is based on the novel, The Spy Who Tried To Stop A War, by Marcia and Thomas Mitchell.
Ged Doherty, who worked with Hood on the thriller Eye in the Sky, will produce, along with Elizabeth Fowler and Melissa Shiyu Zuo. Claudia Bluemhuber, Anne Sheehan and Hugo Heppell are executive producers.
eOne will oversee production and will finance the project with Screen Yorkshire and Shiyu Zuo via her GS Media, as well as distribute the pic in Canada, the U.K., Australia/New Zealand, Germany, Benelux and Spain. Sierra/Affinity will rep all other international territories.
Knightley was recently at the Sundance Film Festival with her period drama Collette, and is set for Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, also from Gordon. She is repped by CAA, the U.K.’s United and MGMT.
Smith, who can currently be seen playing Prince Philip in the second season of Netflix’s The Crown, stars in the upcoming biopic Mapplethorpe and will play Charles Manson in Charlie Says. He is repped by UTA and the U.K.’s Troika.
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