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Toronto: John Hurt, Toby Stephens, Freddie Highmore Join ‘The Journey’

John Hurt, Toby Stephens and Freddie Highmore have joined Colm Meaney and Timothy Spall in the political dramedy “The Journey.”

IM Global, which is fully financing the movie, is launching sales at the Toronto Film Festival. The pic begins production on Sept. 28 in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The movie will focus on the improbable friendship between Martin McGuinness (played by Meaney) and Ian Paisley (Spall) in a story that follows the two Northern Ireland political titans after the signing of the breakthrough St. Andrews Agreement in 2006. The former sworn enemies grew closer in 2007, becoming known as “The Chuckle Brothers,” when they served in the Northern Ireland Assembly, with Paisley as first minister and McGuinness as his deputy.

Stephens will portray British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Highmore will play a government employee tasked to drive Paisley and McGuiness on their journey and Hurt will play an accomplished veteran political fixer overseeing the St. Andrews Agreement.

Nick Hamm (“The Hole”) is directing from a script by Colin Bateman (“Divorcing Jack”).

IM Global is financing the film through its Acclaim specialty division, with assistance from Lipsync and Northern Ireland Screen. Greenroom Entertainment, Nick Hamm, Mark Huffam and Piers Tempest are producing, with IM Global CEO Stuart Ford and President of Production Matt Jackson executive producing.

Hurt is repped by Independent Talent, Stephens is repped by United Agents and Highmore is repped by Artists Rights Group.

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