Barry Keoghan’s ‘Amo Saddam’ Starts Filming in New York in September

The filming of ‘Amo Saddam,’ starring Barry Keoghan, is set to commence in New York in September. Johan Renck is directing the feature film with a screenplay written by Darby Kealey based on Will Bardenwerper’s non-fiction book ‘The Prisoner in His Palace: Saddam Hussein, His American Guards, and What History Leaves Unsaid,’ which revolves around the twelve American soldiers who were tasked with overseeing Saddam Hussein during his trial for crimes against humanity.

The plot of the movie unfolds over a period of six months leading up to Saddam Hussein’s execution, focusing on the evolving relationship between an American soldier (Keoghan) and the former dictator. Set within the confines of a high-security prison housed within a war-damaged palace, the narrative delves into the complexities of their interactions. As the soldier grapples with navigating the blurred lines between reality and fiction, the story explores themes of power dynamics, moral ambiguity, and the human psyche.

Renck’s recent directorial credits include the Adam Sandler-led film ‘Spaceman,’ in which an astronaut grapples with personal struggles on a solo mission and encounters an ancient creature aboard his spacecraft. He also helmed all five episodes of the highly acclaimed HBO miniseries ‘Chernobyl,’ which chronicles the devastating nuclear disaster and the lives of the courageous individuals who risked everything to contain its aftermath. His directorial ventures also include projects like ‘The Last Panthers’ and ‘Bloodline.’ Kealey previously penned episodes of the series ‘Patriot.’

“In a weird way, it’s a prison movie, it’s a war movie and it’s kind of a horror movie almost. There’s a little bit of genre-bending going on,” Renck told The Hollywood Reporter about the film. “So you have this American enclave with walls around it while right outside is Baghdad, this Goya-esque painting of sectarian violence where all the chaos unleashed by these actions of the Western world are taking place. That contrast is something we tap into in the script,” the filmmaker added.

Keoghan’s recent roles include Lt. Curtis Biddick in Apple TV+’s ‘Masters of the Air‘ and Jonny in Netflix’s ‘Top Boy.’ In ‘Saltburn,’ he portrayed Oliver Quick, a student at Oxford University drawn into the world of a charismatic classmate, leading to a summer of unforgettable experiences at the latter’s family estate. He also starred as Dominic Kearney in ‘The Banshees of Inisherin,’ depicting the repercussions of an abruptly ended lifelong friendship. Keoghan’s forthcoming projects, Andrea Arnold’s ‘Bird’ and Chris Andrews’ ‘Bring Them Down,’ are currently in the post-production stage.

New York remains one of the most prominent filming hubs in the country. The region most recently hosted the shooting of productions like Netflix’s ‘Ripley‘ and Sony Pictures’ ‘Madame Web.’

Read More: Celine Song’s The Materialists Starts Shooting in New York Next Month