Production on Mission: Blacklist, to star Robert Pattinson, seemed to have stalled for a while. Director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire quietly dropped out a couple of months ago, but now Deadline.com ("exclusively") heralds that Jesper Ganslandt "has been tapped" to take the helm of the project about U.S. military interrogator Eric Maddox, whose work is credited for the eventual capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. (Note: This bit of "exclusive" news about Robert Pattinson's eagerly anticipated project has been floating around the Internet since late June.)
Jesper Ganslandt's previous narrative-feature credits, all in his native Sweden, are the family drama Blondie (2012), the psychological thriller The Ape (2009), and the coming-of-age drama Falkenberg Farewell (2006). This last title, a somewhat overlong but ultimately quite moving story, was Sweden's submission for that year's Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award.
Mission: Blacklist filming date
Deadline adds that production on Mission: Blacklist is scheduled for fall 2013. If true, Robert Pattinson will be hopping from project to project. Also reportedly scheduled to begin production in the near future is Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert, to feature Pattinson, Naomi Watts, and possibly James Franco, while David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars, in which Pattinson is featured opposite John Cusack and Julianne Moore, officially started filming a couple of days ago.
And let's not forget David Michôd's The Rover, filmed in Australia earlier this year. With luck, The Rover, in which Pattinson finds himself at odds with Guy Pearce, may get either a Toronto Film Festival or a Venice Film Festival screening. And with more luck, American distributor A24 will have the dystopian thriller ready for next awards season, though some reports assert The Rover will gets its U.S. release only in 2014.
Update: According to the California Film Commission, Mission: Blacklist is one of several film and television productions approved for the state's Tax Incentive Program in late June / early July 2013. This bit of information comes via missionblacklist-film.com, which posted a graph featuring the Mission: Blacklist initial shooting date as September 30, 2013. In order to receive the tax grants, Mission: Blacklist must either film 75 percent of its production days or spend 75 percent of its production budget in California. Also: "Once an application is approved," states the California Film Commission's website, "principal photography must begin within 180 days."
So, if Queen of the Desert takes off later this year, that means Robert Pattinson will have been featured in four productions during the course of 2013.
Robert Pattinson toplines Mission: Blacklist cast
Based on Eric Maddox and Davin Seay's book Mission: Black List #1 – The Inside Story of the Search for Saddam Hussein – As Told by the Soldier Who Masterminded His Capture, the Mission: Blacklist screenplay is credited to Erik Jendressen (Band of Brothers), Dylan Kussman (X2, Leatherheads) and Trace Sheehan (Grace & Mercy / The Bounceback).
According to Deadline, Jendressen, Kevin Waller, and Preferred Content's Ross M. Dinerstein are the film's producers via Code Entertainment, which is financing the project. Embankment Films, which is Mission: Blacklist's sales representative, lists Waller, Dinerstein, Al Corley, and Bart Rosenblatt as the film's producers.
Both Embankments Films and the IMDb list only Robert Pattinson in the Mission: Blacklist cast. Pattinson, obviously, will play Eric Maddox.