Balancing decorated experience with a promising up-and-comer, production company Parts & Labor have formally announced that Sir Ben Kingsley and The Hunger Games’ Josh Hutcherson have signed on to topline Backstabbing for Beginners, which is to be directed by Danish filmmaker Per Fly Plejdrup.
Billed as a political thriller, the Canadian-Danish project will lift inspiration from Michael Soussan’s memoir, Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy, a timely and acclaimed dissection of political themes and the general global issues facing a post-Iraq United States. Assuming the role of Michael is Hutcherson, a wide-eyed idealist whose prayers are answered upon landing the job as program coordinator for the UN’s much-touted Oil for Food program.
But as Michael soon discovers, the tentacles of corruption permeate just about every facet of the UN’s strategy, and with power-mongering countries keeping close tabs on Iraq and its coveted oil reserves, our protagonist soon turns to the one person he can trust: the season diplomat Pasha (Kingsley), who will likely coach him in, you know, Backstabbing for Beginners.
Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy of Parts & Labor are attached to produce the project, and the former released the following statement in tandem with the announcement of Kingsley and Hutcherson’s casting.
“Michael Soussan’s firsthand account of the dark underbelly of one of the world’s leading humanitarian organizations provides rich source material for Per Fly and Daniel Pyne who superbly capture the sharp and witty tone of the novel in their script. We couldn’t have asked for a better cast with The Hunger Games’ Josh Hutcherson who is a household name worldwide and Ben Kingsley, one of the best actors of our generation, who is consistently at the top of his game.”
Principal photography for Backstabbing for Beginners has been pegged for January 2016, ahead of a planned release at the tail-end of next year.