Robert Pattinson won’t be heading into harm’s way in Iraq after all, when he starts filming “Mission Blacklist” about Saddam Hussein’s capture during the Iraq War, according to sources.
Rob will be jumping out of his current picture, “The Rover,” and right into filming his psychological thriller.
Principal production is scheduled to start as soon as April, studio Embankment Films has announced on its website.
A source confirms to TheImproper that the movie won’t be shot in Iraq as originally reported. The film will likely do its location shooting in Morocco or Jordan.
A number of period desert films have been shot the North African country, including 2001′s “Black Hawk Down.” In the last few years, Michael Patrick King’s “Sex and the City 2,” Disney’s “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” and “Inception” have been filmed there.
But Director Kathryn Bigelow chose to film her Oscar-winning Iraq war epic, “The Hurt Locker,” in Jordan. She wanted to be as close to Iraq as possible, while avoiding the war-torn country. “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” also filmed in Jordan in 1988.
Reports surfaced last November that Pattinson, 26, would film at least some portions of “Mission Blacklist” in western Iraq. Conditions are still tense there and sectarian killings by suicide bombers are still almost an everyday occurrence.
The U.S. military presence in Iraq ended in December a year ago and British troops left the country ahead of them.
At the time, Rob revealed that his family opposed having him filming in the country, but later relented. “My parents seem to be coming around to it now,” he told MTVNews. “That’s strange. I don’t know what happened.”
In “Mission Blacklist,” the British actor will star as Sgt Eric Maddox, who leads the hunt for the dictator that leads up to his capture. The movie is based on a book by Maddox.
It’s unknown whether the movie will deal with controversial interrogation techniques approved by the Bush administration, including “water-boarding.” Many of the techniques have been deemed forms of torture.
“The Rover” is a western set in futuristic post-apocalyptic Australia. Pattinson plays Rey, a robber who is wounded and abandoned by his gang during a hold up. His victim, played by Guy Pearce, forces him to track down the gang to recover his stolen stuff.
Mission Blacklist is scheduled for release in Summer 2014.