“Bikini Blue” director Jarek Marszewski will direct the 1920s-set euthanasia drama “Iron Ribbon,” for which Los Angeles-based Egyptian actor Mohamed Karim is attached and Tom Hughes (“The English”) is in advanced talks.
The English-language romantic thriller, which is being produced by London-based Daniella Gonella and Jay Michaelson’s DG Productions, is based on the true story of rising Polish stage star Stanislawa Uminska, who in 1924 killed her cancer-stricken fiancé (the dashing painter, critic and writer Jan Zynowski) in Paris upon his request as an act of euthanasia. She then stood trial, but was set free by the French court.
Karim is known across the Middle East as a former host of talent show “The Voice of Arabia” and for roles in popular Ramadan soaps. He is concurrently pursuing a Hollywood career that has led to roles alongside Nicolas Cage in 2019 action movie “A Score to Settle” and with Bruce Willis in “A Day to Die.”
In “Iron Ribbon,” Karim will play Dr. Roussy, who “tries everything to save Zynowski,” Gonella said at Cannes Film Festival, where she and producing partner Donia Youssef have finalized funding on the roughly $5 million picture. Karim — who “besides being a great actor, also has an Egyptian medical school degree,” as Gonella pointed out — will be serving as executive producer on “Ribbon.”
Tom Hughes, who is known for playing Prince Albert in TV drama “Victoria” and Thomas Trafford in BBC and Amazon Prime miniseries “The English” — and is currently shooting Roland Emmerich’s “Those About to Die” — has signed a letter of intent to play the lead role of Zynowski in “Ribbon,” though the deal is not closed, according to Gonella.
Casting for the other lead role, Stanislawa Uminska, is still underway.
Director Marszewski’s second feature “Bikini Blue,” about an English Polish couple seeking to build a new life in postwar Britain, garnered praise on the festival circuit. He also directed Polish TV series “The Conspirators” and “The Murder Commission.”
“Iron Ribbon” will take viewers on an emotional rollercoaster,” Marszewski said in his director’s statement, “offering timely insights into a debate that has never been more relevant in society.” The screenplay is by British writer Adam Howes (“The End of All Things”).
The “Iron Ribbon” production team comprises of Oscar-nominated editor John Wilson (“Billy Elliot”); cinematographer Michal Sobocinski (“The Conspirators”); and Oscar-winning sound designer Glenn Freemantle (“Gravity”).
The plan is for shooting to start in the U.K. in April 2024.
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