Doctor Strange and Sherlock Holmes actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, is to play the real-life cold war spy, Greville Wynne in FilmNation’s Ironbark.

On Chesil Beach’s Dominic Cooper is set to direct and executive produce alongside Cumberbatch. The pair are reuniting after working on the BBC drama series The Hollow Crown. The production is based on a script from The Hitman’s Bodyguard  Tom O’Connor, who will also exec produce.

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The tone of the film is said to be the same as tone to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Greville Wynne was an electrical engineer recruited to MI5 who became an intermediary for high-ranking Soviet spy Penkovsky who was engaged in selling arms and weapons secrets to British intelligence during the Cold War. The two men became pally but when their activities were revealed by a double agent working for the KGB Wynne was arrested and imprisoned in Russia. Wynne was released in exchange for the spy Gordon Lonsdale in 1964.

CEO of FilmNation Entertainment, Glen Basner, spoke to Deadline about the collaboration between Cumberbatch and Cooper. “We are delighted to be
working with Benedict again and to have his abundant creativity on both sides of the
camera. Dominic is a master director and he and Benedict’s work together on The
Hollow Crown produced breathtaking results. We anticipate a very exciting second
collaboration on Ironbark.

Ben Pugh and Rory Aitken will produce alongside Adam Ackland (Patrick Melrose), SunnyMarch and FilmNation. The production is scheduled to start shooting early 2019. Further casting is expected to take place soon.