Wild Bunch and Paramount Team-Up for SHADOW DANCER Starring Clive Owen; Plus First Synopsis for Film Emerges

     May 5, 2011


Last month, we brought you news of Clive Owen teaming up with Andrea Riseborough (Never Let Me Go) and director James Marsh (Man on Wire) in an IRA spy-thriller, then titled, Shadow Dancer. Actually, it’s still titled Shadow Dancer, but we have further updates as well. In a press release sent our way, BBC Films announced that Paramount Pictures will be handling distribution in the UK while Wild Bunch tackles international sales.

Briefly, Shadow Dancer stars Owen as an MI5 agent and Riseborough as a member of the Irish Republican Army in Dublin during the 1990s. James Marsh will direct from a script written by Tom Bradby, who also wrote the novel of the same name. The film also stars Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones) and Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and will begin filming in Dublin this May. Hit the jump to check out the film’s synopsis in the full press release.

Here’s the full press release [find synopsis in bold]:

shadow-dancer-book-cover-imageLondon, UK – BBC Films’ new co-production Shadow Dancer today announced that Wild Bunch will handle international sales for the film, and Paramount Pictures will distribute in the UK.

The film will star Clive Owen (Closer, Children of Men), Andrea Riseborough (Brighton Rock, Made in Dagenham), Aidan Gillen (“The Wire”), Gillian Anderson (Johnny English, Reborn) and begin shooting in Dublin at the end of May.

Colette McVeigh (Riseborough) is a young mother who is heavily involved in the Irish Republican movement, and loses her younger brother at the hands of the British security forces. Owen plays Mac, an MI5 officer who recruits Colette after she is arrested following an aborted bombing attempt in London.  In order to turn her, Mac gives Colette a choice either to inform on her family and see her son again, or stay silent and spend the rest of her life in prison.

James Marsh (Man on Wire, Project Nim) will direct a script by Tom Bradby, who wrote the original novel.  Chris Coen (Funny Games U.S.), Andrew Lowe (This Must Be The Place) and Ed Guiney (The Guard) will produce.  Joe Oppenheimer (The Awakening, The Men Who Stare at Goats) from BBC Films will be Executive Producer.

Producer Chris Coen said, “When I first read Tom Bradby’s book I fell for the incredible story of one woman’s choice to betray her family to save her son or spend 25 years in prison. Working with Tom on the adaptation was a very fulfilling process and, 3 years later, to have such a terrific director and cast attached is nothing short of amazing. I am very grateful to the BBC, UK Film Council and IFB for all their support over the past few months.”

Producers Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe said, “We are delighted to be part of this wonderful project with James, Tom and Chris. It’s often only after bloody conflicts have ended that cinema can take explore their impact and legacy. This brilliantly written thriller set at the end of the troubles will both illuminate and entertain.”

Christine Langan, Head of BBC Films, said:  “Shadow Dancer represents a wonderful development of our existing relationship with James Marsh and a chance to forge new ones with Chris Coen and Tom Bradby. With such a fantastic cast attached alongside the strong team behind the camera, we’re looking forward to bringing this thrilling story to the screen.”

Tanya Seghatchian, Head of the BFI’s Film Fund, said: “After the success of both Man on Wire and Project Nim, it’s exciting to continue working with James Marsh on another compelling and ambitious project. It’s also a pleasure to be supporting Tom Bradby, a veteran journalist but a first-time British screenwriter, and both Unanimous Entertainment and Element.”

Shadow Dancer is financed by BBC Films, UK Film Council, Irish Film Board, Lip Sync, and Paramount Pictures. The film is a Unanimous Entertainment, Element production.

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