6th Apr, 2021

Variety by Leo Barraclough

Helen Mirren, who won an Oscar for “The Queen,” will portray Israel’s legendary Prime Minister Golda Meir in “Golda.” The film will be directed by Academy Award winner Guy Nattiv, and produced by BAFTA winner Michael Kuhn (“Florence Foster Jenkins,” “The Duchess”).

Embankment will represent international sales, with CAA Media Finance and ICM jointly handling the North American rights. Production is eyeing an October start.

The screenplay – written by Nicholas Martin (“Florence Foster Jenkins”), who also produces – focuses on the intensely dramatic and high-stakes responsibilities and decisions that Meir, also known as the “Iron Lady of Israel,” faced during the Yom Kippur War.

On Oct. 6, 1973, under cover of darkness, on Israel’s holiest day and during the month of Ramadan, the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan begin a surprise attack on the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. Outnumbered and outgunned, Meir confronts the immediate, clear, and present danger of a ticking timebomb that she hoped never to face. Surrounded, isolated, and frustrated by the infighting of her all-male cabinet, with little hope of rescue, one woman is in a race against time to save millions of lives on both sides of the conflict.Nattiv said: “As someone who was born during the Yom Kippur War, I am honored to tell this fascinating story about the first and only woman to ever lead Israel. Nicholas Martin’s brilliant script dives into Golda’s final chapter as the country faces a deadly surprise attack during the holiest day of the year, a core of delusional generals undermining Golda’s judgment, all the while undergoing secret treatments for her illness. I could not be more excited to work with the legendary [Helen Mirren] to bring this epic, emotional and complex story to life.”

Nattiv won an Academy Award with his short film “Skin,” which he then developed into a full-length feature starring Jamie Bell, Vera Farmiga and Danielle Macdonald. The film was awarded the Fipresci Prize for first-time director at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival, where it was acquired by A24 Films.

Mirren received the Academy Award for her portrayal of Elizabeth II in “The Queen.” She received additional Oscar nominations for her roles in “Gosford Park,” “The Last Station,” and “The Madness of King George.” Mirren will next be seen in the film “The Duke,” which debuted at the 2020 Venice Film Festival, Universal’s ninth instalment of the “Fast & Furious” franchise, “F9,” and the Amazon anthology series “Solos.” She is also known for recent starring roles in “Woman in Gold,” “Eye in the Sky,” “The Debt,” as well as the “Red” franchise.

In television, Mirren is best known for her widely-acclaimed portrayals of Jane Tennison in “Prime Suspect,” and the title role in “Catherine The Great” in the recent Sky/HBO limited series.

Mirren is represented by CAA. Nattiv and Martin are represented by ICM Partners. Nattiv is also represented by ADD Content Agency in Israel and Cohen Gardner LLP.

Embankment’s slate includes Florian Zeller’s “The Father,” which has received six Academy Award nominations, including best film, and six BAFTA nominations. The company is executive producing “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,” starring Jim Broadbent, which they recently launched at Berlin’s EFM.