Eric Bana and Ricky Gervais are set to star in a remake of director Frédéric Auburtin’s 2009 French comedy Special Correspondents (Envoyés Très Spéciaux), which Gervais will also write, direct and produce.
The 2009 original had a Wag the Dog-style scenario of France mobilizing to gain release for two kidnapped journalists (Gérard Jugnot and Gérard Lanvin) in Iraq, which only the “victims” knew was a fake kidnapping. Gervais has given his adaptation a media-centric spin, with Bana’s character as an arrogant, struggling New York-based radio journalist who fakes frontline war reports from a Spanish restaurant in Manhattan as a desperate ploy to save his job.
The film is being made by Bron Studios and Unanimous Entertainment Media Finance, with Unanimous’ Chris Coen, Brons Aaron L. Gilbert, and Manuel Munz producing.
Bana, who was known for comedy in his native Australia before shifting to action movies and drama in Hollywood, will next be seen in the Coast Guard rescue movie The Finest Hours opposite Chris Pine, and in Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture with Theo James.
This will be Gervais’ third outing as director after 2009’s The Invention of Lying (co-directed with Matthew Robinson) and 2010’s Cemetery Junction (co-directed with Stephen Merchant). He is also scheduled to write and direct Life on the Road, a mockumentary in which he returns as “The Office” character David Brent.