Lionsgate Buys Guy Ritchie’s World War II Movie ‘Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,’ Starring Henry Cavill, Henry Golding, Eiza Gonzalez


Lionsgate has picked up domestic distribution rights to Guy Ritchie’s World War II movie “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.”

The film stars Henry Cavill, Eiza González, Henry Golding, Alex Pettyfer and Cary Elwes, among others. The studio is targeting a 2024 wide theatrical release.

Prime Video has secured most of the international rights for the pic, distributing across Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, India and pan-Asian pay TV.

“The Ministry” is billed as an “outrageous true story” about U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s and James Bond author Ian Fleming’s secret WWII combat organization.

As per a synopsis, “this clandestine squad’s unconventional and entirely ‘ungentlemanly’ fighting techniques against the Nazis significantly changed the course of the war and gave birth to the modern Black Ops unit.”

Principal photography begins on Monday in Turkey. Acknowledging the devastating earthquake that has ravaged parts of the country, Ritchie and the producers noted that the shoot will take place “several hundred miles from the epicenter” of the disaster.

“We do so with profound sympathy for everyone affected,” said Ritchie in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the members of our crew with family in the region. We wish to express our sincere condolences to the people of Turkey. We stand by them and are committed to supporting members of our production team and the wider community over the coming weeks and months.”

The film’s script is from Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson, Arash Amel and Ritchie, and based on war correspondent and military historian Damien Lewis’ best-selling book of the same name. Tamasy and Johnson initiated the project and sold it as a pitch to Bruckheimer and Paramount in 2015.

Jerry Bruckheimer will produce alongside Chad Oman, Ritchie’s producing partner Ivan Atkinson, and John Friedberg for Black Bear International. Executive producers include Scott Lastaiti, Olga Filipuk, Damien Lewis, and Tamasy and Johnson. Black Bear International arranged the financing, and is handling worldwide sales on the film, which will continue at the European Film Market in Berlin this month.

Eda Kowan, John Biondo and Christopher Davis oversaw the acquisition and negotiation on behalf of Lionsgate. Jill Silfen led the deal for Black Bear International, and Sam Wollman and Jay Patel oversaw the deal for Prime Video.

Deadline was first to report the news.