Some very promising casting news today, as Jamie Bell, Mark Strong and Abbie Cornish have been set as the principal cast for Toa Fraser’s 6 Days, a siege thriller that the Auckland-based director will shoot this summer as the follow-up to his acclaimed drama The Dead Lands.
Based on a true story, the thriller centers on the storming of the Iranian Embassy at Princes Gate in London, in April of 1980. Six armed gunmen took over two dozen people inside the embassy as hostages during their campaign for Arab national sovereignty in the Khūzestān Province of Iran. The hostage-takers demanded the release of Arab prisoners from jails in the province, located in the south of Iran, as well as their own safe passage out of England, which the British government refused to grant. The ensuing six days saw tensions rise and hostages die violently, culminating in a raid by a group of highly trained soldiers from the U.K.’s Special Air Service (SAS).
Fraser will reteam with Dead Lands scribe Glenn Standring, producer Matthew Metcalfe and XYZ Films on the project, which will be shopped around at Cannes. The Dead Lands was New Zealand’s official Oscar entry last year, though the Maori-language feature was not ultimately nominated.
The director is working with a cast of sturdy, in-demand actors on 6 Days. Bell will next star in Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot as Ben Grimm/The Thing, due to open in July. Strong, who traversed prestige pics and action extravaganzas in recent months with the one-two punch of The Imitation Game and Kingsman: The Secret Service, is next leading a sci-fi thriller called Ad Inexplorata. He’s now in production on Sacha Baron Cohen spy comedy Grimsby and will appear in Netflix’s siege pic Jadotville. For her part, Cornish, last seen in RoboCop in a supporting role, has natural disaster epic Geostorm on the horizon.