Haley Bennett is in negotiations to star in “Red Sea Diving Resort,” sources tell Variety. Sources also tell Variety Chris Evans is on board to co-star with Bennett.
Previously titled “Operation Resort,” the pic will be written and directed by “Tyrant” executive producer Gideon Raff. Bron Studios, which financed “Fences,” is fully financing the project.
Raff had originally sold the pitch to Fox Searchlight but recently put it back on the market, with Bron Studios now coming on to finance.
The film is based on the 1981 rescue of Ethiopian Jews to Israel. The story picks up in 1977, when Israel’s Mossad spy agency was given an assignment far different from its usual cloak-and-dagger activities. It was ordered by then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin to rescue thousands of Ethiopian Jews in Sudan and deliver them to the Jewish state. No stranger to action in enemy countries, the agency established a covert forward base in a deserted holiday village in Sudan and deployed a handful of operatives to launch and oversee the exodus to the Promised Land, by sea and by air, in the early 1980s.
Alexandra Milchan is also on board to produce. Production is set to start this summer.
Bennett is coming off a banner year with lead roles in “The Magnificent Seven,” “Rules Don’t Apply,” and “The Girl on the Train.” She can be seen next opposite Miles Teller in DreamWorks PTSD drama “Thank You for Your Service.” She is repped by CAA.