Two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson may once again play human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce, according to Screen Daily. Nearly twenty years ago, Thompson played Peirce in Jim Sheridan’s Academy Award-nominated In the Name of the Father (1993, right), in which she defended Daniel Day-Lewis and several others accused of being IRA terrorists. For her efforts — the accused are eventually released — Thompson earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod.
Despite sharing several elements with Sheridan’s movie, this new project is not called In the Name of the Father 2 (or In the Name of the Mother, for that matter). Described as a romantic thriller, The Secret Evidence tells the story of "a young British couple mistakenly caught up in the war on terror who turn to Thompson’s character to get one of them out of prison. However, in fighting for her boyfriend’s freedom, the film’s young female lead finds herself and her family subject to attack from the UK Government’s secret service."
Nicholas Racz, whose sole feature film to his credit is the 2002 thriller The Burial Society, is attached to direct The Secret Evidence. Racz also co-wrote the film’s screenplay with Cerie Bullivant, who based the script on his own story: he was held under house arrest for two years "for suspected involvement in terrorism, which was never proved." Peirce was his attorney.
If funding for the $6-$8 million movie comes through, filming should commence sometime in the fall.
And when the inevitable Julian Assange movie gets made, here’s wondering if Thompson will return as Peirce, who has represented Wikileaks’ Assange during his tribulations with the law.