Focus Features International (FFI) has got in league with Robert Redford’s high-calibre historical project The Conspirator, which started production this week in Savannah, Georgia.

FFI chief Alison Thompson will be at AFM next month to commence international sales on the true story, the first production to emerge from entrepreneur and online brokerage pioneer Joe Ricketts’ The American Film Company. CAA holds North American rights.

Tom Wilkinson, Robin Wright Penn, James McAvoy, Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood and Justin Long star in the part-thriller, part-courtroom drama, with Wright Penn in the lead as Mary Surratt, a mother who stood trial for conspiring to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.

McAvoy portrays Civil War hero Frederick Aiken, who grudgingly agrees to defend Surratt and comes to believe in her innocence despite furious efforts by the authorities to secure a conviction. All the while Surratt tries to protect her fugitive son, who allegedly took part in the conspiracy. James Solomon wrote the original screenplay.

The American Film Company’s Robert Stone, Webster Stone and Brian Falk will produce alongside Greg Shapiro of Kingsgate Films.

The American Film Company’s mandate is to produce commercial and historically accurate films culled from America’s past. Pulitzer Prize winner James McPherson and Lincoln assassination experts Thomas Turner and retired US Army regimental historian Colonel Fred Borch are serving as advisors during production on The Conspirator.