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Robert Pattinson's Saddam Hussein Manhunt Movie 'Mission: Blacklist' Gets A Director

by Diana Drumm
July 11, 2013 10:17 AM
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Mission: Blacklist Jesper Ganslandt

As reported over a year ago at Cannes and with a poster to prove it, there is a movie on its way about the manhunt for Saddam Hussein starring glittery vampire extraordinaire Robert Pattinson. Don't worry, this isn't some teen romantic drama infused with Middle Eastern political intrigue, it's set to be a pretty gritty thriller with the semi-autobiographical novel "Mission: Blacklist #1" as source material and a script written by "Band of Brothers" writer Erik Jendresen, "Dead Poets Society" actor Dylan Kussman, and relative unknown Trace Sheehan. The upcoming feature, "Mission: Blacklist" (no #1) follows military interrogator (and the novel's co-author) Eric Maddox on the hunt for Hussein, ultimately leading him to the 6 to 8 foot spider hole in Ad-Dawr filled with the Iraqi dictator, two AK-47s, a pistol and $750,000 worth in $100 bills. Sounds pretty exciting, no?

With Pattinson as Maddox and a finished script, all seemed good to go until director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire left the project last month. Fortunately (or unfortunately, jury's still out with the film in pre-production), they've found a replacement in Jesper Ganslandt, whose last feature "Blondie" we weren't particularly fond of at last year's Venice Film Festival. "Mission: Blacklist #1" will mark the Swedish director's English-language debut and his first thriller. This sounds like there could be a glimmer of Oscar bait (going down the "Zero Dark Thirty" route) or maybe it’s just another chance for Pattinson to boost up his acting cred or it could get stuck in the melee of pre-production mess. As it's still in the early stages, there's plenty of time to speculate and feel free to in the comment section below. [Deadline]

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  • sdc | July 11, 2013 7:03 PMReply

    Jessica Chastain should have a cameo.. Then it would cross over with Zero Dark Thirty, leading up to the Avengers-esque hunt for non other than Satan. Maybe tie it in with Inglorious Basterds and their hunt for nazis and Hitler . Aldo Rain would then be put in cryo-sleep to join the team

  • Dean | July 11, 2013 7:04 PM

    But Aldo would have a hard time adapting to the modern society he has woken up to!

  • Mi | July 11, 2013 5:20 PMReply

    Glittery vampire?You sound like a tabloid reporter than professional journalist.

  • jmp | July 11, 2013 2:37 PMReply

    Why does Robert Pattinson continue to get acting jobs ? This is one of the miracles of the universe. This guy is always giving sleepwalking performances.

  • manon | July 11, 2013 7:02 PM

    Actually he's getting more acting jobs since his role in Cronenberg's Cosmopolis. The movie made almost all the end of the year's best movie lists and he got critical acclaim for his part, not to forget that he was in every scene of it. The movie was not everyone's cup of tea, that's true. What you call sleepwalking performance is known in the industry as understated acting: it's about subtlety, not overacting.

  • Bob Roberts | July 11, 2013 12:24 PMReply

    "Sounds pretty interesting, no?" Yeah, dark brooding moody thriller about the hunt for a tinpot tyrant whom the US dressed up to look like Hitler. Ms. Drumm maybe you should watch "No End In Sight" or "Standard Operating Procedure" or maybe "Control Room" before you get all hopped up for the manhunt of some middle eastern dictator that posed no threat to the U.S. Empire. I think I'm going to make a movie about a cheetah hunting down a sloth...Sounds pretty interesting, no?

  • Oogle monster | July 11, 2013 12:13 PMReply

    If there are two things that do not match, it must be: Pattinson and Oscar bait.

  • sp | July 11, 2013 2:34 PM

    Oogle Monster, I don't agree with all your opinions, especially your profound love of Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, and Amy Adams. But, I agree that those two things do not match.

  • Kenny | July 11, 2013 10:49 AMReply

    DIANA DRUMM What can you tell us about this director. Really interested in his work, esp as he's taking over for the very acclaimed Sauvaire who likes to work on the ground but clearly that proved to be too risky and costly for insurance. I know this will go down as an obsure indie, which isn't a bad thing but the topic/story is very inspiring and I'm interested to see Pattinson flex his creative muscle with this film.

  • Diana Drumm | July 11, 2013 11:41 AM

    Correction to my previous reply, he's also directed a feature-length documentary "Filmen jag inte pratar om längre" (aka "The Film I'm No Longer Talking About") that I'd be tempted to check out just by the title alone.

  • Diana Drumm | July 11, 2013 11:34 AM

    To be honest, I am not too familiar with his work, not having seen any of his three feature films. "Falkenberg Farewell" is a coming-of-age drama, "The Ape" is a psychological drama, and "Blondie" is a family drama. All three have screened at Venice and Toronto. He appears to have been on "the promising young director" track for a few years now. It will be interesting to see if his directing translates well, not only in regards to language but also with the more politically-charged subject matter.

  • Rosse | July 11, 2013 10:46 AMReply

    This movie sounds interesting.

  • brou | July 11, 2013 10:46 AMReply

    It wouldn't have been Jean-Stephane Sauvaire feature film debut, as he already directed "Carlitos Medellin" and "Johnny Mad Dog".

  • Diana Drumm | July 11, 2013 11:15 AM

    Thanks for the correction!

  • George | July 11, 2013 10:34 AMReply

    Band of Brothers scribe? I am in.

  • David | July 11, 2013 10:33 AMReply

    Sounds interesting, hope they can get it off the ground.

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