U.S. rights to writer/director Kari Skogland's thriller "Fifty Dead Men Walking," starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess ("21") has been picked up by Phase 4 Films. The company, which is the new theatrical, DVD and television distribution company founded by former Peach Arch Home Entertainment president Berry Meyerowitz, negotiated the deal with Hand Made Films International and plans an August 21 theatrical release.
Inspired by Martin McGartland and Nicholas Davies's book based on Martin McGartland's real-life story, the film is set in Belfast in 1980 where the Irish Republican Army is waging an all-out insurgent war against the British occupation. Martin McGartland (Sturgess) is a young small-time Belfast hustler recruited by a wily British intelligence agent (Kingsley) to infiltrate the IRA. Martin quickly uses his natural instincts as a con man to get inside the IRA and starts feeding information to the British, saving hundreds of lives in the process. But with each successful mission, Martin becomes increasingly in danger of being caught and exposed.
"Fifty Dead Men Walking" debuted at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, and won a top prize at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
"'Fifty Dead Men Walking' is a perfect blend of story, action and suspense which will take audiences on a wild ride," Meyerowitz said in a statement. "What's incredible about this story is this man's perseverance and luck against many odds."