Carey Mulligan will star as a Vietnam war correspondent in the film On the Other Side for Topic, First Look Media’s newly branded entertainment studio.
Based on the book On the Other Side: 23 Days With the Vietcong, the true story centers on Kate Webb, a trailblazing journalist for UPI who would pave the way for all female war correspondents. Surviving fierce battles and 23 days of captivity, she emerged from the jungles of Cambodia armed with one of the most unlikely stories to come out of the Vietnam War.
The film marks the latest move for Topic, whose parent company, First Look, co-financed and produced the best picture Oscar winner Spotlight. Topic, which will co-produce and finance On the Other Side, recently acquired U.S. rights to directors Tali Shemesh and Asaf Sudry’s Death in the Terminal, executive produced by Page 1’s Megan Ellison and Mark Boal. Also on Topic’s upcoming slate are Bastard, which marks Oscar-nominated Silence cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto’s directorial debut; No Man’s Land, a documentary produced by Morgan Spurlock; and Debra Granik’s My Abandonment, starring Ben Foster, which is in production.
Mulligan, whose memorable turns in The Great Gatsby, An Education and Inside Llewyn Davis helped catapult her to the top of director wish lists, also will produce On the Other Side alongside Margot Hand of Picture Films (Meadowland) and Edet Belzberg of EBM Productions (Children Underground). First Look’s Adam Pincus and Annie Marter will oversee for Topic.
“As one of the few women reporters to cover the Vietnam War, Kate Webb endured and ultimately survived the most harrowing experiences a war correspondent could ever face,” First Look president Michael Bloom said in a statement. “In a time where journalism is being tested today, we’re excited that Carey will portray this fearless woman and look forward to partnering with her, Margot and Edet to bring this incredible story to life.”
Added Mulligan: “I’m so excited to bring Kate Webb’s remarkable story to the screen. Her integrity, curiosity about the unknown and tenacity set her apart from many other journalists of her time and ultimately saved her life. In a world of increasing division, I can’t think of a more relevant character to portray today — someone whose very survival depended on her desire to understand the other side of the story, to obtain the truth and to report it faithfully. It is an honor to embark on this project with such a talented team of producers.”
The film is set to begin production in spring 2018.
Mulligan was nominated for an Oscar and won a BAFTA for her breakout role in An Education. She has gone on to star in such films as Shame, Suffragette and Far From the Madding Crowd. The British actress is currently in production on David Hare’s BBC project Collateral, which is set to debut in November. Mulligan will next be seen in Mudbound, directed by Dee Rees, which made its world premiere at Sundance in January. (Netflix plans to release the awards-season hopeful in the fall.) She has also recently wrapped production on Wildlife, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Paul Dano.
Mulligan is repped by WME and Julian Belfrage Associates.
The deal was negotiated by WME Global and attorney Linda Lichter of Lichter Grossman.