Ridley Scott and Gerard Butler Team Up for Fact-Based Mercenary Pic

     November 17, 2011

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Although director Ridley Scott is currently busy with the production of Alien-pseudo-prequel, Prometheus, that doesn’t stop him from taking on new projects. Especially when that project stars Gerard Butler (300) as a former British Army officer who puts together a group of mercenaries to attempt a coup against an African nation’s government. Scott is attached to direct and produce the thriller based on the real-life exploits of Simon Mann. The script, written by Robert Edwards (The Bomb in My Garden) will follow Mann through the failed coup, his imprisonment and eventual pardoning. Hit the jump for more.

News of Scott and Butler’s new project comes via Deadline. Butler wants to portray Mann in his planned coup against Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in 2004. Backers such as Mark Thatcher, the son of Margaret Thatcher, disavowed any involvement after the failed coup when Mann’s plane was seized by security forces. The attempt was thwarted in Zimbabwe where his group had arranged to pick up a weapons cache. There, Mann spent five rough years in prison before being taken to Equatorial Guinea to serve a 34-year sentence. Receiving a presidential pardon in 2009, Mann was finally extradited. Mann and his wife Amanda have been touring studios along with Edwards in the hopes of sealing the deal.

Co-producing with Scott are Giannina Facio and Alan Siegel. Scott and Facio are currently developing a biopic of Gertrude Bell, a Middle East pioneer. Angelina Jolie is attached. The pair is also developing Gucci, focusing on the murder-plot between Maurizio Gucci and his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani, who is currently serving a 26-year sentence. Natalie Portman has been mentioned for the role.

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