According to Variety, Entertainment Film Distributors, Capitol Films and Weinstein Co. have teamed with Isle of Man Film, VIP Medienfonds and the UK Film Council to finance Stormbreaker -- at more than $40 million, one of the biggest British indie movies of recent years.
The pic, directed by Geoffrey Sax (White Noise) and produced by Marc and Peter Samuelson, is based on the first book in Anthony Horowitz's bestselling series of novels about the reluctant teenage spy Alex Rider.
Shooting starts July 4 at Pinewood Studios and in the Isle of Man. Horowitz, who previously wrote The Gathering for the Samuelsons, has adapted his own book.
Rider is a 14-year-old orphan who has been unwittingly trained all his life by his uncle with the skills to become a secret agent - scuba diving, mountaineering, martial arts and so on. When his guardian, an MI6 agent, is killed, Rider learns the truth and finds himself forced against his will to take on a dangerous mission for the British secret service.
His emotional turmoil and quest for a father figure underpins the book's action-packed plotting, making it more akin to "Harry Potter" than to more irreverent junior spy franchises such as the Weinsteins' own Spy Kids or Agent Cody Banks.