11:39AM PDT 9/30/16 by Diana Lodderhose and Mike Fleming Jr.
DEADLINE EXCLUSIVE: Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon are set to star in the Nicolai Fuglsig-directed Horse Soldiers, the tense true story of a U.S. Special Forces team and their untested captain sent to a rugged, mountainous region of Afghanistan in the weeks after 9/11. They were assigned to join forces with a Northern Alliance warlord to fight against overwhelming odds to drive out the Taliban. The film is being co-financed by Black Label Media, whose Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill are producing with Jerry Bruckheimer and his Jerry Bruckheimer Films banner, where Chad Oman will be executive producer. The project is an adaptation of Doug Stanton’s book, which Peter Craig and Ted Tally adapted.
This becomes another step up for Black Label, which came out of Toronto with tremendous buzz for the Damien Chazelle-directed La La Land with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.
“I am so happy that we’re finally getting this great project off the ground with wonderful leading actors, Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon,” said Bruckheimer, who developed the drama for the last seven years. “It’s also great to be partnered with Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill of Black Label Media, which is such a dynamic and exciting production company.”
BLM’s Trent Luckinbill called Horse Soldiers “exactly the kind of compelling dramatic story that Black Label is committed to telling – an incredible account of real life bravery and heroism in the face of insurmountable odds. We couldn’t be more proud to partner with Jerry Bruckheimer in bringing this incredible story to life.”
Beyond La La Land, which Lionsgate releases December, Black Label recently wrapped writer/director Danny Strong’s Rebel In The Rye, which stars Nicholas Hoult and Kevin Spacey. Among the projects they are percolating are the Sicario sequel Soldado, with Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro, the Joseph Kosinski-directed Granite Mountain with Jennifer Connelly, Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch, James Badge Dale and Jeff Bridges, and the Ian Samuels-directed Sierra Burgess Is A Loser. They also signed a first look, two-year deal with ABC Signature and ABC Studios. Next up for Bruckheimer is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which will be released May 26, 2017.
Hemsworth, currently in production on Thor: Ragnarok and then Avengers: Infinity, is repped by CAA, ROAR and Gang Tyre; Shannon, who’ll be squarely in the Oscar mix in the Best Supporting Actor category for his performance in the Tom Ford-directed Nocturnal Animals, is currently shooting The Shape Of Water and just signed on to The Current War. He’s repped by CAA, Wetzel Entertainment and attorney David Krintzman.