First Look: Colin Firth Cast Adrift as Ill-Fated Amateur Sailor Donald Crowhurst in 'The Mercy'

Colin Firth, The Mercy - H 2016
Credit: StudioCanal

The high-profile StudioCanal/BBC Films project, directed by James Marsh and also starring Rachel Weisz, had previously been known as the 'Untitled Donald Crowhurst Film.'

For the past year, the Untitled Donald Crowhurst Film has been among the buzziest titles in international markets.

Directed by James Marsh (The Theory of Everything), the high-profile project from StudioCanal, BBC Films and Blueprint Pictures — which stars Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz and tells the fascinating real-life story of Crowhurst, an amateur sailor whose overly ambitious attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 1968 ended in tragedy — has, understandably, sparked a fair amount of interest.

Although it's not due to hit cinemas for another year, the film finally has an official name: The Mercy

In the first-look image, released Friday, Firth, as Crowhurst, appears to look tired and unkempt on the deck of his boat, the Teignmouth Electron, which the businessman entered in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, a single-handed round-the-world yacht race. Eventually, he would abandon the competition, with logs indicating that he suffered from a mental breakdown, eventually leading to his presumed suicide.

Writer-director Scott Z. Burns has penned the screenplay, which is believed to be based on the 2006 documentary Deep Water. Burns is producing alongside Pete Czernin and Graham Broadbent of London-based Blueprint and Nicholas Mauvernay and Jacques Perrin of French production house Galatee Films. The project was developed by Christine Langan from BBC Films and StudioCanal.

StudioCanal will release the film across its markets in 2017. No domestic distributor has been announced.