Antoine Fuqua signs on to direct Siege of Bethlehem
After landing the biggest film festival acquisition last month, Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer) is keeping his upcoming production calendar full as he has signed on helm Siege of Bethlehem, an adaptation of Joshua Hammer’s A Season in Bethlehem, according to Deadline.
First published in 2003, the novel from former Newsweek Jerusalem bureau chief is inspired by the true story of a Muslim, an Israeli Jew and a Christian American as they come together to prevent a battle from breaking out between the Israeli army and some armed Palestinian militants taking refuge in the titular city’s Church of the Nativity. After 39 days of resistance from their superiors and colleagues, the trio are able to reach a resolution and bring an end to the siege and avoid an all-out war on the church’s hallowed grounds.
The script for the film is set to be penned by Avi Issacharoff (Fauda), the Palestinian and Arab Affairs Correspondent for Haaretz, and Matt Cook (Patriots Day), a military veteran who served two combat tours in Iraq, with sources reporting that is Fuqua set to direct the project after wrapping production on the Will Smith-starring Emancipation for Apple TV+.
“We are excited to partner with talented storytellers who have an unparalleled understanding of this extraordinary event and with action film icons who have the ability to bring it to life in the most powerful way,” Bron Studios’ Aaron L. Gilbert said in a statement.
The film is set to be produced by Bron Studios alongside Michael Kase (6 Underground), Gilbert (Bombshell), Issacharoff and Lior Raz while Jason Cloth of Creative Wealth Media is attached to serve as executive producer on the project.
“I’ve been shepherding this project for 15 years,” Kase said in a statement. “There couldn’t be a more appropriate time for a movie like this; it’s a story about uniting people through peace at a time of significant unrest.”
Bron Studios and Bron Creative have been behind a number of major critical and commercial hits over the past decade, including the highest-grossing R-rated film ever Joker, which netted over $1 billion at the global box office, as well as Oscar winners Bombshell and Fences as well as Oscar nominees such as Roman J. Israel Esq. The studio’s upcoming lineup includes the highly-anticipated Candyman reboot from Nia DaCosta, Ghostbusters: Afterlife and the Jennifer Hudson-starring Aretha Franklin biopic Respect.
(Photo Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO)