Drone warfare thriller Eye In The Sky due to shoot in South Africa from August.

eOne will bring an exciting new package to the Cannes market in the shape of contemporary thriller Eye in the Sky, set to star Colin Firth among its ensemble cast and with Gavin Hood on board to direct.

The contemporary thriller set in the shadowy world of remotely piloted “drone” warfare, written by Guy Hibbert (Complicit), follows a military intelligence officer who is charged with remotely commanding a top secret drone operation to capture a group of terrorists from their safe-house in Nairobi, Kenya.

eOne will produce in association with Colin Firth and Ged Doherty’s Raindog Films. eOne president, film production Xavier Marchand will oversee production for eOne.

eOne will directly distribute in the UK, Canada, Benelux, Spain and Australia/New Zealand.

eOne Films International president Harold van Lier and team will handle sales of the film in the US, and in all territories outside of the UK, Canada, Benelux, Spain, and Australia/New Zealand.

The project is currently casting on additional roles.

“The use of unmanned aircraft in modern warfare and in the so-called ‘War on Terror’ poses critical questions for us all,” said Firth. “Raindog was launched with the hope of making challenging thoughtful films, and I’m pleased to be a part of an exploration into such a crucial issue.”

Production is expected to begin in South Africa on Aug 11.

“This is a milestone deal for eOne and we’re thrilled to head to Cannes alongside Colin and Ged with such an impressive project in tote, for which we are handling in our territories, selling on a worldwide basis and also producing with Raindog,” said Patrice Théroux, who oversees eOne’s global film business.

The project is due to be the first to leverage eOne’s existing distribution capabilities with its growing film sales and production power. Going forward Marchand’s production unit and van Lier’s sales division will aim to finance or co-finance up to eight films annually with strong international potential.

Sales and production outfit FilmNation and director Oliver Hirschbiegel were attached to a previous version of Hibbert’s script, which was originally developed at the BBC.