EXCLUSIVE: In the splashiest launch of the AFM so far, Guy Ritchie and Top Gun: Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer have enlisted Superman Henry Cavill and Baby Driver star Eiza González to lead their World War II action spy movie The Ministry Of Ungentlemanly Warfare, which Black Bear International has arranged financing on and is launching for world sales.
Sherlock Holmes and Aladdin filmmaker Ritchie will direct as his next film, with the project lining up a January start date in Turkey.
The movie, inspired by real events, will chart UK PM Winston Churchill’s and James Bond scribe Ian Fleming’s secret WWII combat organization. The clandestine squad’s unconventional and entirely ‘ungentlemanly’ fighting techniques against the Nazis helped change the course of the war and in part gave birth to the modern Black Ops unit.
The project was initially in development at Paramount through Bruckheimer’s first look deal, but the studio will not be distributing the film, and we understand Black Bear is in active discussions regarding U.S. distribution and international deals. This will most likely be the biggest-budget project on sale at next week’s AFM.
Man Of Steel, Mission: Impossible – Fallout and The Witcher star Cavill will play the leader of the secret combat organization. His casting comes on the heels of his surprise appearance in Black Adam and his announced return as Superman in upcoming DCU Films.
González, most recently seen in Michael Bay’s Ambulance, will play a military sniper with extraordinary spy-craft abilities. She will next be see in Netflix’s sci-fi pic The Three Body Problem and Scott Z Burns’ Extrapolations for Apple TV+.
There will be a bevvy of colorful characters, we hear, in a project which seems to have echoes of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. However, Ritchie and Bruckheimer are conceiving this one as a franchise.
The script, by Ritchie and Arash Amel (Rise), is based on war correspondent and military historian Damien Lewis’ popular book of the same name.
In the wake of Top Gun: Maverick, the year’s biggest film to date, super-producer Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) will produce, alongside Chad Oman for Bruckheimer Films. Also producing are Ritchie’s producing partner Ivan Atkinson, and Black Bear International’s John Friedberg. Atkinson and Friedberg produced Guy Ritchie’s most recent feature, The Interpreter (working title), starring Jake Gyllenhaal. That movie is in post-production.