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Colin Firth to Star in John Madden’s WWII Drama ‘Operation Mincemeat’

British Oscar winner reunites with ”Shakespeare in Love“ director for stranger than fiction true story

Colin Firth is reuniting with “Shakespeare in Love” director John Madden for the fact-based WWII drama “Operation Mincemeat,” See-Saw Films and Cohen Media Group announced Tuesday morning.

“The King’s Speech” star is set to play British intelligence officer Ewen Montagu in the stranger-than-fiction true story based on a best-selling book by Ben Macintyre of the same name. Michelle Ashford (“Masters of Sex,” “The Pacific”) adapted the screenplay, and the film is expected to go into preproduction later this year.

In 1943, as the Allies are determined to launch an all-out assault on ‘Fortress Europe,’ they face an impossible challenge — to protect a massive invasion force from entrenched German firepower and avert a potential massacre. It falls to two brilliant intelligence officers, Ewen Montagu (Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley, to dream the most inspired and improbable disinformation strategy of the war — a lunatic and dangerously precarious undertaking centered on the most unlikely of secret agents: a dead man.

“In the context of WW2 narratives, the story of ‘Operation Mincemeat’ is unique — a bizarre and seductive cinematic blend of high-level espionage and ingenious fiction, where the stakes could hardly be higher,” Madden said in a statement.

“It tells a richly human story of the soldiers we seldom see, who fight a different kind of war in shadows and deception, haunted by the knowledge that certainty and guarantee of success are nowhere to be found,” the director added.

“Operation Mincemeat” is a See-Saw Films and Cohen Media Group production in association with Archery Pictures. It is being produced by Charles S. Cohen, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Kris Thykier.

FilmNation Entertainment alongside See-Saw’s in-house sales arm, Cross City Films, will be launching international sales at this year’s Cannes with CAA Media Finance co-repping U.S. rights.

Madden is known for directing “Shakespeare in Love” in 1998, which won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and was nominated for an additional 6 including Best Director.

Firth has appeared in three films that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture: “The King’s Speech,” “Shakespeare In Love” and “The English Patient.”

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