The announcement is designed to spur Cannes sales on the 3D military thriller through Hyde Park International, although the parties declined to reveal who is putting up the “substantial domestic” commitment. Gerard Butler, Matthew McConaughey and Sam Worthington are set to star.

CEO Brian Presley’s Freedom Films and CEO Fred Malmburg’s Paradox Entertainment are backing the project, based on David Zucchino’s non-fiction tome Thunder Run - The Armored Strike To Capture Baghdad. Black Hawk Down screenwriter Ken Nolan is adapting the screenplay with Robert Port.

Simon West, fresh from shooting The Expendables 2, is directing the story of the lightning assault on Baghdad by US tanks and armoured vehicles that kicked off a three-day blitz on the Iraqi stronghold.

Effects work is underway and principal photography is scheduled to commence this summer. Presley is producing alongside Jib Polhemus, West’s partner at The Graphic Film Company.

Freedom Films is represented by Jay Cohen of the Gersh Agency.