Colin Firth, an Oscar winner with “The King’s Speech,” is to star in “Operation Mincemeat,” a true story of World War II counterespionage that will be directed by John Madden, an Oscar nominee with “Shakespeare in Love.”
Emmy-nominated Michelle Ashford (“Masters of Sex,” “The Pacific,” “John Adams”) has written the screenplay, based on the Ben Macintyre book of the same name. The film will go into pre-production later this year.
The story takes place in 1943, as the Allies prepare to launch an all-out assault on Nazi-held Europe. They face a seemingly impossible task – to protect a massive invasion force from entrenched German firepower and avert a potential massacre. Two intelligence officers, Ewen Montagu (Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley, dream up an inspired disinformation strategy, centered on the corpse of a dead man.
The film is a See-Saw Films and Cohen Media Group production in association with Archery Pictures, being produced by Charles S. Cohen, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Kris Thykier.
FilmNation Entertainment, alongside See-Saw’s in-house sales arm, Cross City Films, will be launching international sales at Cannes, with CAA Media Finance co-repping U.S. rights.
Madden said: “In the context of World War II narratives, the story of Operation Mincemeat is unique – a bizarre and seductive cinematic blend of high-level espionage and ingenious fiction, where the stakes could hardly be higher.
“Michelle Ashford’s script fuses multiple strands and moods: tense, romantic, thrilling, unexpectedly funny, and endlessly surprising. It tells a richly human story of the soldiers we seldom see, who fight a different kind of war in shadows and deception, haunted by the knowledge that certainty and guarantee of success are nowhere to be found.”