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Pierce Brosnan will star with Amir El-Masry in the sports drama “Giant,” based on the true-life story of British-Yemeni boxer Prince Naseem “Naz” Hamed and his rags to riches ascent to a world championship under the tutelage of his Irish-born boxing trainer Brendan Ingle.

El-Masry will play Naz and Brosnan is set to portray Ingle. The film will be written and directed by Rowan Athale (“The Rise,” “Gangs of London,” “Strange But True”), and produced by Mark Lane of Tea Shop Productions and Kevin Sampson of White Star Productions. AGC chairman and CEO Stuart Ford will also produce.

AGC Studios and BondIt Media Capital are financing the film.

On board to executive produce 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 True Brit’s Zygi Kamasa.

Kamasa’s True Brit Entertainment has taken U.K. distribution rights with AGC International handling international sales on the title. The project is set to begin shooting in Leeds, England in late April. Originally scheduled to shoot all of its interiors in Malta, AGC made the decision to move the entirety of production back to the U.K. and as such “Giant” is one of the first productions to directly relocate as a result of the recently enacted Independent Film Tax Credit announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

“Giant” is the true story of Hamed’s humble beginnings on the tough working-class streets of Sheffield and his discovery by Ingle, himself a steel industry worker turned boxing trainer. Their unlikely partnership along with Naz’s unorthodox style, cocky persona and sheer dominance in the ring, propelled them to the top of boxing’s elite and global stardom, all in the face of the rampant Islamophobia and racism of 80s and 90s Britain.

Ford expressed his support for the project, noting that “since commissioning Rowan to write the brilliant screenplay for ‘Giant’ several years ago, we’ve been passionate about bringing this extraordinary story to the big screen. Amir and Pierce will make a powerful lead duo and it’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: “Rowan has written a brilliantly entertaining boxing biopic, that spotlights the incredible relationship between Hamed and his trainer Brendan Ingle, and showcases the hugely entertaining style that took Naz to global super stardom as world featherweight champion. 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 U.K. following the new tax credit being introduced to the industry.”

U.K. 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. We are delivering on our plan to generate more opportunities for our skilled creatives, and making Britain one of the best places in the world to make films.”

Brosnan is notable for his roles in films such as “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Mamma Mia” and the James Bond franchise. Most recently, Brosnan was seen in “The Last Rifleman.” He was also recently seen in Phillip Noyce’s hitman thriller “Fast Charlie,” “Gun Monkeys” and in DC’s Comics Warner Bros. film “Black Adam.” Brosnan will next be seen in the Focus Features spy thriller “Black Bag” for Steven Soderbergh.

El-Masry is known for his roles in Jon Stewart’s directorial debut “Rosewater,” the series “The Night Manager” and the BAFTA-nominated “The State.” He has been seen on-screen recently in Kenneth Branaugh’s “A Haunting in Venice” as well as in “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” and as young Mohamed Al Fayed in “The Crown” Season 5.

He also performed in Woody Harrelson’s “Lost in London,” the first film to ever be shot and screened live in cinemas across the U.S. and U.K. El-Masry can also be seen in “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” Netflix series “The One,” and “Industry” for HBO, executive produced and directed by Lena Dunham.

El-Masry plays the lead in the refugee drama “Limbo” for which he won best actor at the BAFTA Scotland Awards. He can be seen most recently in “In Camera,” starring opposite Nabhaan Rizwan, directed by Naqqash Khalid. “In Camera” premiered at London Film Festival in 2023 and El-Masry was nominated for best supporting actor for his performance at the 2023 BIFAs.

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