Saban Films is in final negotiations to acquire North America and multi-territory rights — including for the U.K., German-speaking Europe, Scandinavia, Spain, Benelux and Australia — to real-life WWII spy thriller Lives in Secret, starring Hugh Bonneville and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

From director John Hay, the film sees Gainsbourg play intelligence officer Vera Atkins, who became the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s Miss Moneypenny and made it her mission to discover the fate of missing agents she had dispatched to occupied France. Bonneville will play a high-ranking SS officer. Principal photography is set to begin in the fourth quarter in Eastern Europe, with Saban Films releasing the movie in 2023.

Adapted from Sarah Helm’s best-selling book A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII, Lives in Secret is produced by Jeremy Bolt of JB Pictures, Chris Milburn of Illustrious Media and Matthew Kuipers. Executive producers include Glenn Kendrick Ackermann, Jason Piette, Ewan Dunbar and Olivier Albou.

Lives in Secret is a compelling thriller, based on a remarkable true and inspiring story with two of the most riveting actors of our time,” said Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley. “We trust our partners and are excited to see John Hay bring this remarkable story to the screen.”

Disrupting Influence, which is handling international sales with Paris-based Other Angle, brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers with Bromiley. Disrupting Influence and Other Angle previously closed deals with Canal Plus for France, as well as the Middle East, Portugal and other international territories in advance of Cannes.

Gainsbourg is represented by Artmedia, ICM Partners, Markham, Froggatt & Irwin, and Untitled Entertainment. Bonneville is repped by Gordon and French and UTA.

Saban Films recently acquired Ana Lily Amirpour’s Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon, starring Kate Hudson and Jeon Jong-seo, Brett Donowho’s western The Old Way with Nicolas Cage, as well as Adam Sigal’s reincarnation-themed dark comedy Chariot with John Malkovich.

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