Dominic Cooke’s new feature, Ironbark, now in production
by Davide Abbatescianni
- Principal photography on the Cold War drama commenced in London on Monday and is expected to last until 7 December
London-born film and theatre director Dominic Cooke is now working on the set of Ironbark, a new Cold War drama penned by Tom O’Connor (The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Fire with Fire). This is the filmmaker’s second feature, which follows On Chesil Beach [+see also:
film profile], an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name starring Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle. The film had its world premiere in the Special Presentations section of Toronto last year, and was released in US and UK cinemas in May.
Cooke has a stellar cast lined up for Ironbark. Benedict Cumberbatch will play the role of Greville Wynne, an MI6 spy who helped the CIA to gain access to information on the Soviet nuclear programme during the Cold War. Wynne and his Russian source, Colonel Oleg Penkovsky (codenamed “Ironbark”), provided the crucial intelligence that ended the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Jessie Buckley (Wild Rose [+see also:
film profile], Beast [+see also:
interview: Michael Pearce
film profile]) will play Sheila Wynne, Greville’s wife, while Rachel Brosnahan (Boomtown, Patriots Day) will portray Emily Donovan, a determined CIA agent who runs Wynne’s operations. Other confirmed cast members include Russian actor Kirill Pirogov (Wake Me Up, Raskop), British thesp Angus Wright (Star Wars: Rogue One, A Little Chaos [+see also:
interview: Alan Rickman
film profile]) and Georgian actor Merab Ninidze (Jupiter’s Moon [+see also:
interview: Kornél Mundruczó
film profile], Hostages [+see also:
interview: Irakli Kvirikadze
interview: Rezo Gigineishvili
Ironbark is being produced by Ben Pugh and Rory Aitken for British outfit 42, Adam Ackland for the UK’s SunnyMarch, and Ben Browning for New York-based production and distribution firm FilmNation Entertainment. Director Dominic Cooke, lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch and screenwriter Tom O’Connor will executive-produce with Josh Varney from 42 and Leah Clarke from SunnyMarch. The shoot is expected to wrap on 7 December.
Ironbark will be released in 2019. UTA Independent Film Group will handle US sales, while European firms Film & TV House (UK) and GEM Entertainment (Hungary) will be in charge of its distribution in the rest of the world.
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