Theron prepares to do ‘Battle’

Thesp joins cast for Townsend-helmed drama

Charlize Theron is ready to do battle in the Northwest.

Thesp is set to star in ensemble drama “The Battle in Seattle,” along with Andre Benjamin (aka rapper Andre 3000), Martin Henderson, Woody Harrelson and Ray Liotta.

Irish actor Stuart Townsend will write and helm in his directorial debut. He’s eying a November start date for the political actioner set against the backdrop of the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle.

Vancouver-based Insight Film Studios is producing with Proud Mary Entertainment in Los Angeles. Hyde Park Entertainment and Remstar are signed on as producing partners and put in coin for the pic, budgeted at less than $10 million. Endeavor Independent helped arrange financing.

Like “Bobby” or “Crash,” the film will use interlocking strands to tell the story of the WTO meeting and ensuing riots from various perspectives, such as those of protesters, pedestrians, politicos, police and WTO delegates.

During the five-day WTO meeting, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Seattle. What started out as a peaceful protest intended to stop the talks escalated into a riot and eventual state of emergency, with the National Guard called in. Townsend will use some actual footage of the riots.

Producers are Insight topper Kirk Shaw and Proud Mary’s Mary Aloe. Hyde Park’s Ashok Amritraj is expected to take an exec producing credit.

Endeavor will sell North American rights. Hyde Park is repping overseas rights and will be offering the project to buyers at the upcoming American Film Market.

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