Production has begun in Atlanta, Georgia, on the Jeremy Renner thriller Kill The Messenger, Focus Features CEO James Schamus and co-CEO Andrew Karpen announced on Thursday [25].

Focus Features International launched sales on the thriller at the EFM back in February and the film is expected to open through Focus in the US in 2014.

Renner plays the late, true-life investigative reporter Gary Webb, who exposed the connection between the CIA, Nicaraguan Contra rebels and a cocaine smuggling ring.

Michael Cuesta, riding high on the success of Homeland, directs the film inspired by Webb’s Dark Alliance series of articles and Nick Schou’s book Kill The Messenger. Peter Landesman wrote the screenplay.

The key cast includes Josh Close, Rosemarie DeWitt, Andy Garcia, Tim Blake Nelson, Michael Sheen, Barry Pepper, Michael Kenneth Williams and Oliver Platt.

“Our team of filmmakers has been tireless in working to get this movie made, and we know that audiences will empathise with Jeremy’s compassionate portrayal of a man who did the right thing at great personal and professional cost,” said Schamus and Karpen.

Scott Stuber, Jeremy Renner and Naomi Despres are producing on behalf of Bluegrass Films. Executive producers include Landesman, Don Handfield, Michael Bederman and Pamela Abdy.