Previously titled “Operation Resort,” the film will be written and directed by “Tyrant” executive producer Gideon Raff. Bron Studios, which backed “Fences,” is fully financing the movie. Alexandra Milchan is on board to produce “Red Sea Diving Resort,” which begins shooting this summer.
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 from Sudan. 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 Jewish men and women from Sudan and deliver them to the Jewish state. The agency established a covert 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.
Though Williams is best known for his roles in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and “The Wire,” he’s stayed busy on the big screen as well, including a key role in the upcoming “Star Wars” Han Solo spinoff.
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Williams’ recent TV work includes HBO’s “The Night Of,” where he played Riz Ahmed’s character’s fellow inmate and mentor Freddy Knight, and the ABC miniseries “When We Rise.” He can be seen now in the second season of the SundanceTV series “Hap and Leonard.”
Williams is repped by WME and Silver Lining Entertainment.