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Jacqueline Bisset Joins Thriller ‘Backstabbing for Beginners’

Jacqueline Bisset has come aboard “Backstabbing for Beginners” as the female lead, joining Ben Kingsley and Theo James in the political thriller, Variety has learned exclusively.

Danish director Per Fly recently began shooting the film in Marrakech, Morocco.

The film follows a young idealist — played by James — who lands his dream job as a program coordinator for the U.N.’s Oil for Food program and is thrown into an already fraught post-war Iraq, where government agents and power-hungry nations are circling the country’s oil reserves. Bisset portrays a French NGO activist overseeing food aid.

James joined the project in January. Kingsley is playing a seasoned diplomat who’s the boss of James’ character.

Fly 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.

Fortitude International is handling foreign rights and launched sales at the 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.

Bisset recently portrayed the wife of a fictional politician, inspired by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, in “Welcome to New York.” She is repped by Steve Kenis & Co.

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