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Pierce Brosnan, Amir El-Masry to star in AGC’s ‘Giant’; shoot moves to UK for new indie tax credit

Pierce Brosnan, Amir El-Masry to star in AGC’s ‘Giant’; shoot moves to UK for new indie tax credit

Pierce Brosnan and Amir El-Masry will star in AGC’s Naseem Hamed boxing drama Giant, which starts shooting later this month in the UK after the producers relocated from Malta to benefit from the country’s recently announced Independent Film Tax Credit.

Zygi Kamasa’s True Brit has acquired UK distribution rights to the project which Rowan Athale, whose credits include Gangs Of London, will direct from his screenplay.

Strike-induced production delays meant the producers had to reconfigure the cast after Paddy Considine and Mena Massoud were originally announced as the leads.

Principal photography will take place in Leeds. Brosnan portrays Irish-born trainer Brendan Ingle and El-Masry plays Hamed.

Giant will chart the British-Yemeni fighter’s life from humble beginnings in Sheffield  to become featherweight world champion, against the backdrop of rampant Islamophobia in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s.

Mark Lane of Tea Shop Productions and Kevin Sampson of White Star Productions are producing Giant with AGC Studios chairman and CEO Stuart Ford. AGC Studios and BondIt Media Capital are financing.

Executive producers are Sylvester Stallone and Braden Aftergood of Balboa Productions, AGC Studios’ Miguel Palos, Zach Garrett and Anant Tamirisa, BondIt’s Matthew Helderman, Luke Taylor and Tyler Gould, Michael Ewing and Kamasa.

AGC International handles international sales on the title. AGC chairman and CEO Stuart Ford hailed the “powerful lead duo”, adding: “[I]t’s exciting that Zygi and his team at True Brit, with their outstanding career track record in launching the best of British film to audiences, believe as fervently as we do in ’Giant’s’ cinematic potential”.

Kamasa added, “Dramatic, visceral and inspiring with incredible boxing scenes, this is exactly the kind of British film audiences want to see in the cinema and we’re thrilled to be filming in the UK following the new tax credit being introduced to the industry.”

UK culture secretary Lucy Frazer said: “Our new tax breaks for independent film announced in the Budget are already having a clear impact, attracting a production that would otherwise lose out on everything our creative industries have to offer. We introduced more generous tax reliefs to create the right environment for indies to thrive.”