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Sony Classics Buys Liam Neeson’s Watergate Drama ‘Silent Man’

Variety logo Variety 5/25/2017 Dave McNary
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Sony Pictures Classics has bought North American rights to Watergate era drama “The Silent Man,” starring Liam Neeson as FBI official Mark Felt.

Felt revealed himself in 2005 as Deep Throat, the nickname given to him by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they uncovered the Watergate scandal that led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Felt died in 2008.

“The Silent Man” also stars Diane Lane, Marton Csokas, Josh Lucas, Tony Goldwyn, Michael C. Hall, Tom Sizemore, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ike Barinholtz, Bruce Greenwood, Brian D’Arcy James, Kate Walsh, and Noah Wyle. “Concussion” director Peter Landesman directed “The Silent Man” from his own script.

“The Silent Man” has been set for a September release with Sony Classics referring to “recent political turmoil” as sparking a renewed public interest in Felt’s story.

That’s a reference to President Donald Trump’s May 9 firing of FBI Director James Comey after Comey reportedly requested increased resources for the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election — which evoked comparisons to Nixon’s 1973 orders to fire independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox, which led to the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus.

Production companies are Scott Free, MadRiver Pictures, Endurance Media, Torridon Films, and Riverstone Pictures with Ridley Scott, Giannina Scott, Marc Butan, Anthony Katagas, Landesman, Steve Richards, and Jay Roach producing.  The film was executive produced by Yale Badik, Des Carey, Colin Wilson, Peter Guber, Jeffrey Vinik, Nik Bower, Deepak Nayar, and Michael Schaefer.

“Mark Felt was one of the most instrumental figures in American history and yet very little is known of him and the risks he took to reveal the truth. This is an incredible story well told by Peter and his creative team, with a top-notch cast led by an extraordinary performance from Liam. This film could be not more timely and relevant for audiences,” said Sony Pictures Classics.

The deal was negotiated between CAA and Sony Classics. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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