Universal Pictures has begun production on Breach, starring Academy Award® winner Chris Cooper (Capote, Adaptation), Ryan Phillippe (Crash, the upcoming Flags of Our Fathers) and Academy Award® nominee Laura Linney (Kinsey, "You Can Count on Me"), and written and directed by Billy Ray (Shattered Glass). Co-financed by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE), with Universal to release the film in North America and Kimmel International to distribute globally, the film is produced by Bobby Newmyer (Training Day), Scott Kroopf (The Last Samurai) and Scott Strauss (Mindhunters) and executive produced by Adam Merims (Shattered Glass) and SKE's Sidney Kimmel and William Horberg.
Based on The Eleventh Hour by Adam Mazer and Bill Rotko and inspired by true events, Breach is a dramatic thriller set inside the halls of the FBI - - the gatekeeper of the nation's most sensitive and potentially volatile secrets. "This is a story about lying in the pursuit of truth," says writer/director Billy Ray. "It's also about how our mentors can teach us even as they are betraying us."
When young Eric O'Neill (Phillippe) is promoted out of his low-level surveillance job and into the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, his dream of becoming a full-fledged agent is on the verge of becoming a reality. Even more impressive, O'Neill is handpicked to work for renowned operative Robert Hanssen (Cooper), within "information assurance," a new division created to protect all classified FBI Intelligence. O' Neill is quickly confronted with the true reason behind his hire: Hanssen is the sole subject of a long-term, top-secret investigation, a suspected mole made all the more dangerous by the sheer global import of the information he is charged with protecting.
The Bureau asks O'Neill to use Hanssen's growing trust to slowly draw the traitor out of deep cover. Engaged in a lethal game of spy-versus-spy, O'Neill finds himself fighting to bring down Hanssen before the treacherous double agent can destroy O'Neill, his family and the nation they are both sworn to serve.
Linney portrays Special Agent Kate Burroughs, the FBI staffer in charge of O'Neill, and Dennis Haysbert (Far From Heaven, television's 24) is Special Agent Dan Plesac, who teams with Burroughs to bring Hanssen down. Also in the cast are Kathleen Quinlan (Apollo 13), Gary Cole (Office Space, television's Wanted), Caroline Dhavernas (television's Wonderfalls), Bruce Davison (X-Men) and Mary Jo Deschanel (The Patriot).
The film's behind-the-scenes talent includes cinematographer Tak Fujimoto (The Manchurian Candidate, The Sixth Sense), production designer Wynn Thomas (Cinderella Man, A Beautiful Mind), editor Jeff Ford (The Family Stone, Shattered Glass) and costume designer Luis M. Sequeira ("The Highwayman").
Breach will film in Toronto and Washington D.C., with the domestic release scheduled for 2006.