As if the subject matter of the upcoming espionage drama Official Secrets wasn’t enough to generate considerable buzz, the first casting news for the based-on-a-true-story project features a long list of A-list actors and rising stars.
Harrison Ford (Star Wars) and Sir Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs) are just two of the actors attached to the film, which is based on the best-selling book The Spy Who Tried To Stop A War: Katherine Gun and The Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion. Ford and Hopkins will be joined by The Avengers actor Paul Bettany, Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer, and The Hobbit (and Sherlock) actor Martin Freeman in the cast as just the first set of actors attached to the film.
Set to be directed by Justin Chadwick (Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom, The Other Boleyn Girl), the film features a screenplay by Sara and Gregory Bernstein that’s based on the 2008 novel by Marcia and Thomas Mitchell. The book’s synopsis reads as follows:
British secret service officer Katharine Gun’s only crime was telling the truth, but she paid a steep price when she exposed a U.S.-U.K. spy operation to secure U.N. authorization for the Iraq invasion. Thoroughly researched and engagingly written, this book tells the story of the young woman Sean Penn describes as “a hero of the human spirit.”
Gun will be portrayed by Dormer in the film, with Bettany playing the British newspaper reporter who learns of Gun’s discovery of the illegal NSA spy operation that facilitated passage of the U.N. resolution for war. Freeman will play the foreign affairs editor at the British newspaper The Observer, with Hopkins cast as a retired U.K. general and Ford in the role of a CIA agent involved inthe operation.
Official Secrets is expected to begin filming in May in the U.K.