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CANNES: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tye Sheridan in Iraq War Drama ‘Yellow Birds’

Benedict Cumberbatch, Tye Sheridan and Will Poulter are starring in Iraq war drama “The Yellow Birds.”

The pic revolves around two young soldiers (Sheridan and Poulter) who are taken under the wing of an older sergeant (Cumberbatch) as they are deployed to Iraq.

The project is financed by Courtney Solomon and Mark Canton’s Cinelou Films in a partnership with Story Mining and Supply Co.

Story Mining’s CEO-president Jeffrey Sharp (“Boys Don’t Cry”) and president of production Evan Hayes (“Everest”) acquired the rights to the Kevin Powers novel and developed the script. They will produce the film along with Solomon and Canton; Jim Kohlberg will executive produce.

David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”) will direct the film from his own script.

The Solution will handle foreign sales in Cannes. WME Global, CAA and UTA will handle the domestic sale.

“The Yellow Birds” was published in 2012 and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Powers served as a machine gunner with the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2004 and  2005.

“I never had any interest in making a war film until Jeff and Evan brought me the novel by Kevin Powers,” Lowery said. “And perhaps I still don’t, because while Powers’ story takes place during wartime, it isn’t about the conflict. It is about characters who find themselves caught up in war, but who struggle to not let it define them. I fell in love with them. It is a beautiful and deeply personal tale, relayed through images and memories, and I am excited to have the chance to bring it to the screen.”

Cinelou just completed filming of its first film “Cake,” starring Jennifer Aniston, Sam Worthington, Anna Kendrick, Adrianna Barraza, William H. Macy, Britt Robertson, Mammie Gummer  and Felicity Huffman.

It also announced Saturday an additional five-picture deal with Shenghua Entertainment, three months after making an initial $50 million financing pact with Shengua in Berlin.

Cumberbatch will next be seen in “The Imitation Game” for The Weinstein Company. Sheridan starred in “Mud” and is shooting “Scouts vs. Zombies.” Poulter starred in “We’re the Millers.”

Cumberbatch is repped by UTA and Conway van Gelder Grant. Lowery, Sheridan and Poulter are repped by WME.

 

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