HanWay films handling international sales and will launch at AFM.

Oscar winner Christoph Waltz has signed on to play Mikhail Gorbachev in director Mike Newell’s Reykjavik, which is being produced by Headline Pictures, Scott Free Productions, Participant Media and Mark Sennet Productions.

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Waltz will soon be seen in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and he is also in production on Terry Gilliam’s Zero Theorem.

HanWay is handling international sales and will discuss the project with buyers at the forthcoming AFM.

He joins another Oscar winner, Michael Douglas, who plays Ronald Reagan. The story is about the famous 1986 summit between Reagan and Gorbachev, the pivotal talks that lead to the end of the Cold War. Kevin Hood (Becoming Jane) wrote the script.

The film is set to shoot starting in March 2013 in Reykjavik and at Germany’s Studio Babelsberg.

Newell said: “I feel very fortunate to have two such masters to portray the men who brought about the end of the third great war of the 20th Century. Reagan and Gorbachev were two of the most significant politicians and individuals of their times. I’m very excited to see how each of these great actors gets to grips with their role as the history-changing giants we remember them to have been.”

“This is a moment in history where two world leaders with fundamentally opposing beliefs held the future of the world in their hands”, added Stewart Mackinnon, President of Headline Pictures. “They controlled nuclear arsenals which had the capability to destroy the world many times over but despite this, put the needs of humanity before their ideology and agreed to end the nuclear arms race. Informed by deeply-held private beliefs Reagan and Gorbachev reached an understanding that we can still draw lessons from today.”

“The film will offer the viewer a unique look into two larger than life figures– Reagan and Gorbachev – who served as the catalysts for one of the most defining moments in our history, the end of the cold war”, said acclaimed director and President of ScottFree, Ridley Scott.  “I am excited not only by the story and the incredible cast we have assembled but also by the larger issue this film tackles that impacts all of us – non-proliferation and the abolishment of nuclear weapons.”  

Thorsten Schumacher, MD of HanWay Films added, With the real threat of nuclear annihilation, the stakes could not have been higher for the meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev at Reykjavik. In an atmosphere of intrigue and paranoia, how these two enemies could come to finally trust each other makes for suspenseful and emotional tour de force. We’re thrilled to have the exceptional talents of Michael Douglas and Christoph Waltz face off against each other in these iconic roles.

Executive producers joining the project are Jere Sullivan, Vice Chairman of International Public Affairs for Edelman, and Ken Adelman, foreign policy expert and part of the negotiating team for Reagan in Reykjavik.