Josh Hutcherson and Ben Kingsley will star in the political thriller “Backstabbing for Beginners.”
Danish director Per Fly is helming the film which starts shooting in January.
Hutcherson will play an idealist who lands his dream job as a program coordinator for the U.N.’s Oil for Food program, who’s thrown into an already fraught post-war Iraq where government agents and power-hungry nations are circling the country’s oil reserves. Kingsley will portray his boss, a seasoned diplomat who is the one person that Hutcherson’s character can trust — only to discover that there may be a conspiracy at the highest level.
Fly, who directed “Monica Z” starring Edda Magnason, co-wrote “Backstabbing” with Daniel Pyne (“The Manchurian Candidate”), inspired by Michael Soussan’s memoir, “Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy.”
The producers are Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy of Parts and Labor, Malene Blenkov and Nikolaj Vibe Michelsen of Creative Alliance, and Daniel Bekerman of Scythia Films. Patrick Ryborn from Eyeworks Scandi Fiction AB is co-producing.
Kingsley and Hutcherson are executive producers alongside Gregory Shockro from Houndstooth, Fortitude’s Robert Ogden Barnum, Poa Stromberg from Eyeworks, Jacob Jørgensen from JJ Film, and Lars Tregart and Jeff Kalligheri from Waterstone.
Fortitude International is handling foreign rights and will launch sales at the upcoming American Film Market. UTA Independent Film Group, which arranged the financing with the producers, is representing U.S. rights. Entertainment One has acquired Canadian rights.
The film is an official Danish/Canadian co-production with support from the Danish Film Institute, DR, the Swedish Film Institute and Nordisk Film & TV Fond, as well as the Ontario Media Development Corp. Houndstooth provided tax credit and debt financing for the film.
Kingsley stars in “The Walk” with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His upcoming projects include Anton Corbijn’s “Life” with Robert Pattinson and Dane DeHaan, and Disney’s “The Jungle Book.”
Hutcherson will be seen next in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2.”
Kingsley is repped by CAA, Hutcherson by CAA and The Beddingfield Company, and Fly by UTA and Independent Talent Group.