Berlin’s European Film Market hasn’t even started yet, but the first big EFM deal has been announced.
Lionsgate has secured U.S. distribution rights to The Ministry, with Amazon Prime Video taking rights in multiple international territories, including Europe, Central and South America, Europe and India.
The film’s ensemble cast includes Henry Cavill, Eiza González, Alan Ritchson, Henry Golding, Til Schweiger, Alex Pettyfer, Cary Elwes, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Babs Olusanmokun and Henrique Zaga.
An adaptation of Damien Lewis’ non-fiction book: The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: How Churchill’s Secret Warriors Set Europe Ablaze and Gave Birth to Modern Black Ops the film charts the true story of how U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill and James Bond writer Ian Fleming set up a clandestine combat organization that used unconventional and “ungentlemanly” techniques to fight the Nazis, helping give birth to modern Black Ops units. The project, which was originally set up at Paramount, is being pitched as the first in a possible franchise.
Top Gun: Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer is producing the film alongside Chad Oman, Ritchie’s producing partner Ivan Atkinson and John Friedberg for Black Bear International. Executive producers include Scott Lastaiti, Olga Filipuk, Damien Lewis and Tamasy and Johnson. Black Bear International set up financing for the film and are handling worldwide sales at the EFM in Berlin later this week.
The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare begins principal photography in Turkey today. Lionsgate is eying a wide theatrical release for the movie next year.
“As we begin production in Turkey, though we will be several hundred miles from the epicenter of the recent earthquakes, we do so with profound sympathy for everyone affected,” Ritchie and the film’s producers said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the members of our crew with family in the region. We wish to express our sincere condolences to the people of Turkey. We stand by them and are committed to supporting members of our production team and the wider community over the coming weeks and months.”