Foresight Unlimited and Envision Entertainment, who previously collaborated on the current box office hit, 2 Guns, produced by Marc Platt and Emmett/Furla and starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, have come aboard to produce and finance The Englishman. Blockbuster director John Moore (A Good Day to Die Hard, Behind Enemy Lines) is attached to helm the film from a screenplay written by William Wisher Jr. (Terminator 2: Judgment Day). Foresight Unlimited will also be handling worldwide sales for the film.
Mark Damon will produce the $30M action film alongside James Gibb, Benedict Carver, Timothy Wayne Peternel, and John Moore.
The Englishman was developed by London-based Derby Street Films. Derby Street's Nicola Horlick and Rachel Green are executive producing, together with Shaun Redick, Ray Mansfield, Ash Shah, Chris Hanley, Peter Veverka, and Foresight's President, Tamara Birkemoe. Envision Entertainment's Stepan Martirosyan, Vitaly Grigoriants, and Remington Chase will also be executive producers on the film.
Set to shoot in South Africa early next year, The Englishman is a true story based on the book "Once a Pilgrim" by Will Scully. It unfolds in real time as Will Scully, an ex-SAS officer turned mercenary, gets caught up in a military coup in Africa. Trapped in a hotel together with thousands of innocent civilians and completely surrounded by hostile rebels, he single-handedly takes on the enemy until he can get all the civilians safely evacuated.
The Englishman represents the fifth collaboration between Foresight and the Envision partners, Stepan Martirosyan, Vitaly Grigoriants, and Remington Chase. In addition to the upcoming Lone Survivor, directed by Peter Berg, and also starring Mark Wahlberg, and set to release in December this year by Universal, they are preparing the upcoming Spinning Gold, starring Justin Timberlake, which is set to go early next year. The two companies have also just completed production on Castle Rock's, And So It Goes..., helmed by Rob Reiner, and starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton.
Stepan Martirosyan and Mark Damon had this to say about the project.
"We are delighted to be teaming up with Derby Street Films to bring this amazing true story based on Will Scully's book to a worldwide movie audience."
Director John Moore commented.
"The Englishman is one of those rare stories, the details and circumstance of which are so bizarre and mesmerizing, it created a compulsion in us to tell it. Bill Wisher and I are delighted to be in business with Derby Street and Foresight on this film: they see what we see, they want the movie to be all it can be."
Nicola Horlick expressed his excitement for the project.
"Will Scully's story is extraordinary and it's very exciting to have John Moore on board as director. This is exactly the type of commercial movie that Derby Street Films plans to keep developing for the big screen."
John Moore made his directorial debut with 20th Century Fox's action adventure Behind Enemy Lines, starring Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman. He continued to collaborate with the studio on films that include The Omen, Max Payne and A Good Day to Die Hard, which earned over $300 million worldwide.
With casting underway, Tricia Wood is onboard as the casting agent for the film.