Entertainment One (eOne), in association with Colin Firth and Ged Doherty’s Raindog Films, is pleased to announce that it will produce and distribute EYE IN THE SKY. Firth and Doherty will produce the film alongside Xavier Marchand who will oversee production for eOne, while Firth is also attached to star as part of the ensemble cast. Academy Award winner Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, Ender’s Game, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is confirmed to direct.
eOne also announces that its international sales division under President Harold van Lier will handle sales of the film in the US, and in all territories outside of the UK, Canada, Benelux, Spain, and Australia/New Zealand, where the company will directly distribute EYE IN THE SKY.
“This is a milestone deal for eOne and we’re thrilled to head to Cannes alongside Colin and Ged with such an impressive project in tote, for which we are handling in our territories, selling on a worldwide basis and also producing with Raindog,” said Patrice Théroux, who oversees eOne’s global Film business.
“Eye in the Sky showcases what our Film group is all about: source a sought-after project with outstanding talent attached, produce it, secure all rights, and handle direct distribution in our territories and sales around the world,” added Marchand.
EYE IN THE SKY is a contemporary international thriller set in the shadowy world of remotely piloted “drone” warfare. Written by BAFTA award-winner Guy Hibbert, this tense action thriller and profoundly moving morality tale, centers around military intelligence officer Colonel Michelle Madden. London-based Madden is set to remotely command a top secret drone operation to capture a group of dangerous terrorists from their safe-house in Nairobi, Kenya. The carefully planned mission suddenly escalates from a “capture” to a “kill” operation when Madden realizes that the terrorists are about to embark on a deadly suicide mission, which would result in the catastrophic deaths of many innocent civilians. Meanwhile American drone pilot Steve Watts is poised to destroy the safe-house when a nine year old girl enters the kill zone just outside the walls of the targeted house. With unforeseen collateral damage now entering the equation and with the volatility of the situation increasing with every second that passes, Madden must now pass the mission’s authority up the “kill chain” to politicians and lawyers, including British Foreign secretary James Willett, who must weigh both the legality and morality of action and inaction.
“The use of unmanned aircraft in modern warfare and in the so-called ‘War on Terror’ poses critical questions for us all,” said Firth. “Raindog was launched with the hope of making challenging thoughtful films, and I’m pleased to be a part of an exploration into such a crucial issue.”
Production is expected to begin in South Africa on 11 August 2014.
Through this announcement, the company also unveils its global film production arm under Xavier Marchand, President, Film Production.
Working closely together, Marchand’s production unit and van Lier’s sales division will leverage eOne’s distribution infrastructure to invest and finance projects at source, thus positioning eOne to offer film producers an increased and concentrated investment in their films. Their goal is to secure opportunities to finance or co-finance up to eight films annually with strong international potential. Both Marchand and van Lier will collaborate closely with eOne Film business leaders across territories to maximize direct distribution.
“Xavier is so very well suited to lead our production efforts. He has an extensive knowledge of both film production and the demands of international market,” continued Théroux. “In acquiring Alliance, we inherited a successful film production business and with our new Films International team, it truly fits within our multi-territory model. We offer access to financing through many channels and offer filmmakers flexibility and security from script to screen.”