Building on their successful, long-standing relationship, Participant Media is joining DreamWorks Studios on two upcoming films: Steven Spielberg’s “Untitled Cold War Spy Thriller” written by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on an original script by Matt Charman and starring Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance and Amy Ryan; as well as The Light Between Oceans, a period drama based on the best-selling novel by M.L. Stedman, and written and directed by Derek Cianfrance and starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz.
DreamWorks Studios President and COO Jeff Small commented, “We have had a successful and rewarding partnership with Participant on six total films over the past years. We look forward to continuing this productive relationship which allows us to bring exciting and quality films to audiences around the world.”
Participant Media CEO Jim Berk added, “Participant and DreamWorks collaborate so well because both our companies exist to bring entertaining and thought-provoking films to life. These next two films, which will be our 7th and 8th collaboration, each represent a unique and extraordinary opportunity to work with brilliant storytellers.
Spielberg’s project tells the true story of James Donovan, an attorney who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible mission to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. It will begin filming next month in New York and Berlin. In addition to directing, Spielberg will produce the film with Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger. The executive producers are Adam Somner and Daniel Lupi. Twentieth Century Fox is also co-financing the film and will handle international distribution, while The Walt Disney Company will release the film domestically on October 16, 2015.
The Light Between Oceans also starts filming next month in locations in New Zealand and Australia. An international best-seller, M.L. Stedman’s debut novel takes place on a remote Australian island in the years following World War I, where a lighthouse keeper and his wife are faced with a moral dilemma when a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a two-month-old infant. When they decide to raise the child as their own, the consequences of their choice are devastating. Heyday Films’ David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford are producing. The Walt Disney Company will distribute domestically and in select international territories, while Mister Smith Entertainment will handle distribution in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
In addition to The Hundred Foot Journey, which opened earlier this month in the U.S., Participant previously teamed with DreamWorks on Lincoln, The Help, The Fifth Estate, The Kite Runner, and The Soloist, which together have garnered 17 Oscar® nominations.