Cherie Blair to Make First Foray Into Film With Middle East-Based Feature

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Cherie Blair and her husband Tony Blair

The wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is to exec produce 'The Rock Pile.'

Cherie Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, is to make her first move into filmmaking, having been brought on board by London-based Joejack Entertainment as executive producer on Middle East-based drama The Rock Pile.

In her role — her first exec producer position — the QC and barrister will reportedly be "actively advancing" the feature on the world stage. 

"Given my own foundation's work in Israel and Palestine, and Tony's work on the Middle East peace process, we are deeply aware of the human cost of the conflict and the benefit of bringing stories about the reality on the ground to a global audience," Blair said in a statement. "Stories like The Rock Pile can alter people's understanding, foster engagement and ultimately trigger action for change."

Being directed by John Deery, The Rock Pile, which will be shot on location in Israel and New York and star Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville, tells the story of Time magazine war correspondent Bob Hastings, who after being re-assigned to Jerusalem finds his own redemption and a sense of reconciliation when he uncovers a story of three young boys of different faiths who are brought together through football.

News of Blair's involvement — and her statement — will likely jar critics following her husband's significant role in the disastrous and deadly invasion of Iraq, a conflict that cost hundreds of thousands of lives, destabilized the Middle East and, according to many, indirectly led to the formation of the Islamic State. The former leader has faced continued calls for him to be tried for war crimes, while the U.K.'s 2016 Iraq inquiry criticized his actions, saying the invasion was unjustified and unnecessary. 

The Rock Pile will be produced by Deery for Joejack Entertainment, McBrayer for Z Productions LLC and Haim Mecklberg for 2-Teams Productions (Sand Storm). The other executive producers are Charles Moore (Lady in the Van), Gabriela Christian-Hare (Jackie & Ryan), Rick McCallum (A United Kingdom), Mark Foligno (The King’s Speech) and David Yelland, a former editor of The Sun newspaper and deputy editor of the New York Post.