Thanks in part to some savvy pre-release marketing from Beyoncé, the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer smashed viewership records upon its release, becoming the most viewed trailer of all time. I’ll let that sink in. All signs point to the steamy E.L. James adaptation heating up into a box office smash next spring, which should bode very well for stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson. Today, Dornan has locked down his next starring role, in The Siege of Jadotville, a geopolitical thriller that should allow the actor a chance to further hone his dramatic chops.
From writer Kevin Brodbin and first-time director Richie Smith, the film centers on the titular siege of 150 U.N. Irish troops in 1961 in the Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) after pro-Western warlord Moise Tshombe seized power in the Katanga region, killing the democratically elected Congolese prime minister Patrice Lamumba.
Dornan is poised to topline the pic as Commandant Pat Quinlan, the Irish-born military man who led the U.N. battalion against a force of 3,000 local troops fighting alongside French and Belgian mercenaries. The Fifty Shades of Grey actor released an official statement addressing the role, in which he said:
“I can’t wait to get stuck into Jadotville. It’s an unbelievable story and Commandant Pat Quinlan is going to be a treat of a character to tackle. I’m a big fan of both Richie Smyth and [producer] Alan Moloney and I’m very much looking forward to working with them both.”
For his part, Smyth stated:
“I’m really excited to be working with Jamie on The Siege of Jadotville. I thought his performance in The Fall was sublime. He is perfectly cast in the lead role as Commandant Quinlan and has been instrumental in bringing this epic story to life.”
Given the fascinating true story of heroism in battle that’s at the core of this project, we’ll be keeping a close eye on The Siege of Jadotville – and on next year’s Fifty Shades of Grey, when Dornan will attempt to prove his mettle as a leading man.