David Heyman’s Heyday Films, the company behind this year’s hot Oscar contenders “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Marriage Story,” and Hardy Son & Baker (“Taboo & Christmas Carol”) are set to produce “Shackleton,” the long-gestating biopic of legendary polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Tom Hardy is on board to play the title role, and will also produce the pic alongside Dean Baker through their banner Hardy Son & Baker which originated the project.
“Tom and I were always fascinated by Shackleton as a leader and his contagious optimism and absolute belief in his team,” Baker told Variety. “At a time where leaders seem to be more about self than society, Shackleton sacrificed his own needs to ensure the wellbeing of his team – thats inspirational,” added Baker.
Written by “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” scribe Peter Straughan, “Shackleton” will reteam Heyday Films and Studiocanal, who most recently delivered two successful “Paddington” movies and Marc Munden’s forthcoming “The Secret Garden.”
Studiocanal, which is set to fully finance the film, has been developing it with Hardy Son & and “Harry Potter” producer Heyman. The project is in early development as Straughan is currently writing the script.
Shackleton led British expeditions to the Antarctic over 100 years ago. During one of his journeys, his ship, Endurance, was crushed in the pack ice and Shackleton led his crew on a months-long journey in sub-zero temperatures until they reached solid ground.
Shackleton’s life previously inspired the two-part special “Shackleton” from U.K. broadcaster Channel 4, headlined by Kenneth Branagh and which won both BAFTA and Emmy awards and earned a Golden Globe nomination.
Heyday and Studiocanal will next partner on the big-screen adaptation of “Pippi Longstocking,” the beloved free-spirited little girl created by legendary Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.