Benedict Cumberbatch to Play Cold War Spy in FilmNation's 'Ironbark'

Benedict Cumberbatch - Getty - H 2017
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Based on the real-life story of Greville Wynne, the film will be directed by Dominic Cooke ('On Chesil Beach') from a script by Tom O'Connor ('The Hitman's Bodyguard').

Benedict Cumberbatch may have had a minor role in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but the British star is set to up his espionage credentials thanks to upcoming thriller Ironbark.

The film, to be directed by Dominic Cooke (On Chesil Beach) from a script by Tom O'Connor (The Hitman's Bodyguard), 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 helped end the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

FilmNation is financing and will handle international sales, starting in Cannes later this month. UTA will rep U.S. sales.

Ben Pugh and Rory Aitken (In Darkness, Sand Castle) of 42 will produce the feature, alongside Adam Ackland (The Current War), SunnyMarch and FilmNation Entertainment. Cumberbatch, Cooke and O'Connor will executive produce along with Josh Varney (Watership Down) from 42 and Leah Clarke of SunnyMarch. The deal was negotiated by UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmaking team, along with Alison Cohen for FilmNation.

"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," said Pugh and Aitken. 

Added Glen Basner, FilmNation CEO: "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."

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.