Oscar-winning Irish filmmaker Terry George is to direct war action thriller Riverman and is preparing to shoot the feature in Saudi Arabia’s Neom and the UK.
Inspired by war diaries written during the war in Afghanistan, the story will follow a Royal Marine who is recruited by a private arms dealer and descends into a world more dangerous than the battlefield.
The script has been written by George, director of Hotel Rwanda and The Promise, who also wrote the screenplay for 1994’s In The Name Of The Father. His directorial debut, Some Mother’s Son, played in Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 1996.
Casting has begun on Riverman with filming set to begin January 2024. Neom, in northwest Saudi Arabia, will facilitate the production with sound stages, production support facilities, talent and crews.
The production will be led by the UK’s Future Artists Entertainment under Matt Williams with Camilla Storey of TMS Productions and producer Mark Foligno of Limelight CTL, whose credits include Moon and Oscar-winner The King’s Speech.
George, who won an Oscar in 2012 for best live action short film The Shore, described Riverman as “a powerful, highly dramatic war story”.
Neom, a $500bn megacity being built in northwest Saudi Arabia, is working to establish itself as production destination and industry hub for the Middle East and North Africa region with a 40%+ production cash rebate incentive. It has provided the backdrop for 30 productions in the last 18 months including; Rupert Wyatt’s Desert Warrior, starring Anthony Mackie and Sir Ben Kingsley; Bollywood feature Dunki, directed by Rajkumar Hirani and starring Shahrukh Khan; and Rise of The Witches, the region’s biggest-ever TV drama. MBC’s Exceptional, a 200-episode-a-year TV drama series, is set to begin shooting in July.