×

Noomi Rapace to Play Mossad Agent in Vicky Jewson’s Action Drama ‘Sylvia’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Noomi Rapace will star as Mossad’s most famous female agent in “Sylvia,” an action movie from Vicky Jewson, who developed the project with WestEnd Films under the company’s female-skewed WeLove banner. London-based WestEnd will handle sales and will be talking to buyers at Cannes.

The project reunites “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” star Rapace, Jewson and WestEnd after their successful collaboration on action picture “Close.” Netflix took global rights to that picture and launched it in January.

In “Sylvia,” Rapace will play Sylvia Rafael, a South African-born agent who rose to prominence in Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. She was noted for her intelligence work in locating Ali Hassan Salameh, the leader of Palestine’s Black September organization and the figure behind the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. But the mission led to her involvement in the infamous Lillehammer affair, in which an innocent Moroccan waiter was mistakenly identified as Salameh and killed by Rafael’s team. Rafael was tried in Norway and imprisoned. She died in South Africa in 2005.

The “Sylvia” script is being penned by Jewson alongside her “Close” writing partner, Rupert Whitaker. It is inspired by the book “Sylvia Rafael: The Life and Death of a Mossad Spy,” which was written by Ram Oren and Moti Kfir, a former Mossad agent who trained Rafael.

Popular on Variety

“What is so enticing about this project is the opportunity to tell the true story of an extraordinary woman, who sacrificed a huge part of her life for a country that was not originally her own,” Jewson said. “I am keen to explore the unique personality of someone who put their life at risk on a daily basis and lived under a permanent dual identity, searching beyond the often glamorously perceived title of ‘spy’ to the gritty reality of this life and what drove her.”

Speaking about her blossoming partnership with Rapace, she added that “’Sylvia’ is exactly the sort of character-driven story we want to bring to the screen.”

Sharon Harel, Eitan Evan and Whitaker are producing the movie alongside Rapace, Jewson and Moshe Edery.

More Film

  • ‘On the Record’: Film Review

    'On the Record': Film Review

    “On the Record,” a documentary that presents the former music executive Drew Dixon’s accusations of sexual harassment and rape against the hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons (it includes several other Simmons accusers as well), is the fourth major documentary of the #MeToo era to offer an incendiary indictment of men who have used their power within [...]

  • Pain and Glory

    Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘Pain and Glory’ Sweeps Spanish Academy Goya Awards

    MADRID — Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory” took home Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Antonio Banderas) and Best Original Screenplay at the 34th Spanish Academy Goya Awards, as well as Best Editing, Original Music and Supporting Actress (Julieta Serrano). Almodóvar’s night did have one blemish, however. On the red carpet ahead of the ceremony [...]

  • Timmy Failure-Mistakes Were Made Disney Plus

    'Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made': Film Review

    The passive voice is crucial to the title of “Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made,” a Disney kid-detective caper with a clear enough moral: that owning your errors and apologizing for them is an essential part of growing up. If any individual mistakes have been made in the film itself, however, they’re as hard to pick [...]

  • Wander Darkly

    'Wander Darkly': Film Review

    Miserable parents Adrienne (Sienna Miller) and Matteo (Diego Luna) can’t afford therapy. Instead, Adrienne settles for a free Date Night, a casual party that only reminds the couple of their problems: his wish to regress to a slacker-style flophouse, her resentment that he’s never proposed, which has begun to curdle into a suspicion that they’re [...]

  • Mortal

    Saban Films Nabs U.S. Rights to André Øvredal Fantasy Thriller 'Mortal' (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” director André Øvredal’s next adventure will see a U.S. rollout from Saban Films. “Mortal,” starring Nat Wolff, has sold domestic rights to the distributor In a deal brokered by Endeavor Content. TrustNordisk handled international rights. Saban president Bill Bromiley, currently on the ground at the Sundance Film Festival, [...]

  • Carey Mulligan poses for a portrait

    Carey Mulligan Suggests Oscar Voters Need to Prove They've Seen the Movies

    Carey Mulligan has made a conscious decision in recent years to collaborate with female directors, from Sarah Gavron (“Suffragette”) to Dee Rees (“Mudbound”). On Saturday night at the Sundance Film Festival, she’ll unveil “Promising Young Woman,” a thriller written and directed by Emerald Fennell, about a heroine out for revenge after experiencing a traumatic abuse. [...]

  • Andy SambergVariety Sundance Studio presented by

    Andy Samberg Calls Hosting the Oscars a 'Bad Gig' -- That He'd Still Consider

    Andy Samberg has been a reliable favorite hosting awards ceremonies, in recent years emceeing the Independent Spirit Awards, the Emmys and the 2019 Golden Globes with Sandra Oh. So it’s only natural to wonder if Samberg would consider taking the reins on the Oscars, which will return again this year without a host. “They have [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content