FilmNation Entertainment has acquired Guy Hibbert’s (Omagh) screenplay for Eye in the Sky. The studio has set Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall) to direct the international thriller that follows a group of characters around the world as they are all affected by the decision to drop a drone missile on a house in East Africa. The project marks a reunion for the writer and director, as Hirschbiegel also directed the Hibbert-scripted film Five Minutes of Heaven. The 2009 drama starred Liam Neeson and won the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award and the World Cinema Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
Hirschbiegel’s Downfall is the 2004 German film depicting the last days of Adolf Hitler that has, of course, evolved into an Internet meme befitting of any and all anger-generating situations. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
(TORONTO) September 12, 2011 – FilmNation Entertainment announced today that they have acquired Guy Hibbert’s (Omagh, Boy Soldier) screenplay EYE IN THE SKY as a directing vehicle for Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall, Das Experiment). FilmNation are aggressively putting the film together with the aim of starting to prep later this year. EYE IN THE SKY is a gripping international thriller that follows a group of characters around the globe as they are each impacted by the decision to drop a drone missile on a house in East Africa. This will be Hibbert and Hirschbiegel’s second collaboration following the much-lauded Five Minutes of Heaven starring Liam Neeson.
FilmNation EVP Production Karen Lunder brought in the project to the company and will produce alongside FilmNation’s President of Production Aaron Ryder. Stephen Wright (Five Minutes of Heaven, The Mighty Celt), who works with the BBC where the project was initially developed, will also produce.
“As a company we have been searching for a project to do with Oliver for some time. He’s a filmmaker I’ve been pursuing for years and I’m incredibly excited that Guy’s script is going to be that project. It’s one of the best scripts I’ve read in a long time”, said FilmNation Entertainment’s Ryder.
Lunder adds, “This is one of those rare projects that you can’t stop thinking about long after the last page has been turned. Guy’s script is absolutely riveting and unique and we couldn’t have a better team to make this film.”
Director Hirschbiegel was drawn to the project because of the tense subject matter that examines contemporary warfare and its detachment from real life. It’s “truly a wild ride focusing on twenty people in different countries and how their decisions impact a street corner somewhere in Nairobi. It’s a story I haven’t seen told before on screen”.
Hibbert and Hirschbiegel’s Five Minutes of Heaven won two awards including the Dramatic World Cinema Directing Award and the World Cinema Screenwriting Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival while Downfall won two 2005 awards including Actor of the Year and Foreign Language Film of the Year by the London Critics’ Circle.
FilmNation acquired the rights from BBC Films, in cooperation with BBC TV. Zoe Brown brokered the deal for the BBC and Alison Cohen negotiated the deal for FilmNation.
Oliver Hirschbiegel is repped by Jason Burns & Tobin Babst at UTA and by Attorney Barry Hirsch. Guy Hibbert is repped by Jason Burns & Tobin Babst at UTA and Leah Schmidt at The Agency in London.
FilmNation recently completed House at the End of the Street starring Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men First Class) and The Raven starring John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe. The company is also in pre-production on Mud starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey and directed by Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter); in development and fully financing an untitled Oren Peli project; in development on James McTeigue’s Message From the King from writers Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell; F*cking Engaged which will star Jessica Biel; The Faces to be directed by Paul Solet; and The Amateur American directed by Ross Katz.