Eric Bross is directing from a script by Tom Cudworth. Producers are School Pictures’ Stephen Israel (“Swimming With Sharks”) and George Voskericyan (“Helicopter Mom”) of American Film Productions. Shooting starts this month in Norfolk, Va.
13 Films has international rights to the project, which was introduced to buyers in Cannes.
“Public Affairs” follows a young campaign aide who sleeps with a presidential candidate’s wife — a mistake that sends him into a downward spiral of corruption and blackmail. He is left fighting not only for his career, but also his life.
Birch will play a childhood friend of the aide who makes her living by exposing political figures personal scandals.
“I’ve long-admired Thora’s raw talent and am thrilled that she has joined the team,” said Israel. “Her honesty and depth will truly complement an already-strong cast.”
Birch’s credits include “Patriot Games,” “American Beauty” and “Ghost World.” She took a break from acting for several years, but has resumed her career and is currently shooting “Above Suspicion” opposite Jack Huston, Emilia Clarke and Johnny Knoxville, reuniting her with “Patriot Games” director Phillip Noyce.
Birch recently wrapped the independent feature “The Etruscan Smile” opposite Brian Cox and JJ Feild. She also has a recurring role on the USA series “Colony.”
13 Films’ slate includes the family adventure film “Four Kids and It,” starring Michael Caine, Bill Nighy and Matthew Goode; sci-fi thriller “Spectrum,” toplined by Lucas Till; British dark comedy “Croak,” written by David Thewlis; “Worlds Apart,” starring J.K. Simmons; “The Forgiven,” with Forest Whitaker and Vince Vaughn; thriller “A Patch of Fog,” toplined by Stephen Graham and Conleth Hill; and supernatural thriller “Voice From the Stone,” starring Clarke and Marton Csokas.