'McMafia' Star James Norton to Play Con Artist in 'Chasing Agent Freegard'

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James Norton

The film is among the first slate of projects from a new deal between Great Point Media and The Development Partnership.

James Norton, best known for his roles in McMafia and War & Peace, is set to play real-life British con man Robert Hendy-Freegard in upcoming feature Chasing Agent Freegard.

The film is one of three projects coming under a newly announced partnership between finance and sales banner Great Point Media and The Development Partnership, the production arm of talent agency The Artists Partnership, who have teamed to develop multiple films with a range of producing partners. 

Chasing Agent Freegard, which Norton will also executive produce through his recently launched outfit Rabbit Track Pictures, comes from Captain Phillips co-producer Michael Bronner, and is based on the story of Hendy-Freegard, who masqueraded as an MI5 agent and fooled several people into going underground for fear of assassination by the IRA.

Also landing under the new partnership is Let it Go, from producer Damian Jones (The Iron Lady, Belle, Welcome to Sarajevo), based on the memoir of Dame Stephanie Shirley, a six-year-old child refugee, trailblazing entrepreneur, driven philanthropist and computing pioneer. Her tech company, which Shirley set up in 1962 at her kitchen table, grew to be worth over $3.3 billion. Shirley took legal action to allow her most loyal employees to be given shares in the business, and when she floated her company in 1993, 70 of them became millionaires alongside her. The memoir is being adapted by Robyn Charteris.

“What a wonderful moment to tell this story of a child refugee who became a multimillionaire," said Jones. "Dame Shirley’s work ethic, moral compass and ethos of giving back fly in the face of the entitlement-ridden times we’re living in."

The third film in the initial slate is the already-announced Rose, a dark, gothic exploration of one couple’s relationship that examines the pressures of dependency, illness, guilt, loneliness and love. Part horror, part love story, Rose is the story of a couple desperately trying to stay alive, when perhaps the greatest threat to their survival is each other. It was written by first-time feature writer Matt Stokoe, and will be helmed by first-time director Jennifer Sheridan. It stars Stokoe (Jamestown, Outlaw King) and Sophie Rundle (Peaky Blinders) and is produced with their production entity, Bone Garden, Mini Productions and TDP.

"This collaboration represents an exciting and decisive move forward in our strategy to build projects from root to branch with trusted partners, and follows three years of great work with the team at TDP, developing projects with and for their clients," said Great Point Media co-founder Jim Reeve.

"Our partnership with Great Point goes from strength to strength and Jim and his team have been the perfect collaborators as we have built this film slate and as we continue to build projects and businesses with clients," added Robert Taylor from The Development Partnership.

Nada Cirjanic, head of sales for Great Point, will be representing all three films and introducing them to buyers in 2019.