Foresight and Envision, which collaborated on “2 Guns,” plan to start shooting in South Africa early next year. Foresight topper Mark Damon will produce the $30 million film alongside James Gibb, Benedict Carver, Tim Peternel and Moore.
Moore, who also directed “Behind Enemy Lines” and “The Omen,” will direct from a screenplay by William Wisher (“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”). Foresight Unlimited will also be handling worldwide sales once the project is cast.
Damon told Variety that producers will begin to cast the film next week.
The story is based on Will Scully’s 1997 book “Once a Pilgrim: The True Story of One Man’s Courage Under Rebel Fire,” which recounted efforts by the ex-Special Air Service soldier and his former regiment, known as the “Pilgrims,” to evacuate civilians during a military coup in Sierra Leone.
“The Englishman” was developed by London-based Derby Street Films. Derby Street’s Nicola Horlick and Rachel Green are exec producing, together with Shaun Redick, Ray Mansfield, Ash Shah, Chris Hanley, Peter Veverka and Foresight’s Tamara Birkemoe. Envision’s Stepan Martirosyan, Vitaly Grigoriants and Remington Chase will exec produce.
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The project represents the fifth collaboration between Foresight and the Envision partners including “2 Guns.” The others are upcoming Mark Wahlberg starrer “Lone Survivor”; Neil Bogart biopic “Spinning Gold,” starring Justin Timberlake; and Castle Rock’s comedy “And So It Goes,” directed by Rob Reiner, and starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton.
“’The Englishman’ is one of those rare stories, the details and circumstance of which are so bizarre and mesmerizing, it created a compulsion in us to tell it,” said Moore.
Redick and Mansfield negotiated on behalf of Derby Street Films. Moore is repped by Paradigm.