Mirren settles Madden’s ‘Debt’

Oscar winner to star in Miramax thriller

Miramax has tapped Helen Mirren to play a Mossad agent in helmer John Madden’s “The Debt.”

Miramax acquired worldwide rights to “The Debt,” an English-language remake of Israeli thriller “Ha-hov” about three Israeli Mossad agents tracking down a Nazi war criminal over 30 years, in April.

Pic is a co-production with Marv Films, the U.K.-based shingle topped by Matthew Vaughn and Kris Thykier.

Vaughn is re-uniting with “Stardust” co-writer Jane Goldman to pen the script.

Marv has a three-year first-look deal with Sony Pictures.

“Helen Mirren is the perfect choice for the central role — a national celebrity and retired Mossad agent, a formidable and dignified woman grappling with years of emotional disappointment, suddenly confronted by a powerful and unexpected choice,” said Madden.

Lensing is set to start next year in the U.K., Germany and Israel.

Role is an interesting switch of gears for Mirren. She had previously been attached to star as a Jewish woman whose journo daughter falls in love with a Palestinian and is shot dead, in an untitled pic produced by Left Bank Pictures.

Shingle was set up by former ITV Prods.’ controller of drama, comedy and film Andrew Harries, who produced Mirren starrer “The Queen.”

That project was to be helmed by Philip Martin and scripted by Frank Deasy, who worked with Mirren on the TV skein “Prime Suspect.” Pic remains in development.