French actor Tahar Rahim, who toplined “A Prophet,” is circling the star-studded espionage drama “Official Secrets,” Variety has learned.
Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, Paul Bettany, Natalie Dormer and Martin Freeman have already joined the project, produced by Elizabeth Fowler. Justin Chadwick will direct from a screenplay by Sara and Gregory Bernstein based on the book “The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War: Katharine Gun and the Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion.”
The Solution Entertainment Group’s Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel are executive producing, and handling the financing and international sales at the European Film Market in Berlin. UTA Independent Film Group packaged the project and represents domestic rights.
The film is slated to begin shooting in May in the U.K. The story is set in 2003 in the months before the Iraq War with Dormer playing a British intelligence officer and Rahim in the role of her husband.
Bettany will portray a British newspaper reporter. Dormer’s character reveals a secret, illegal NSA spy operation against the UN Security Council designed to ensure passage of a resolution for war. She’s arrested following the leak and the reporter’s efforts to gain the evidence to free her unearths a shocking plot that puts both of their lives in jeopardy.
Freeman will be playing Peter Edwards, the foreign affairs editor at the newspaper. Hopkins is playing a retired U.K. general and Ford is a CIA agent.
“A Prophet” was nominated in 2010 for the Academy Award for best foreign language film and won Grand Prix at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. It was nominated for 13 César Awards and nabbed nine, including best film, best director, best actor and best supporting actor.
Rahim is repped by UTA.