Jamie Dornan to star in Netflix movie about UN peacekeepers
- Alex Johnston
- 16 February 2015
Jadotville commemorates a heroic stand by Irish UN soldiers during the 1960s Katangese War in the Congo
The quivering juggernaut that is Fifty Shades of Grey stormed the box office on its opening weekend. So nobody should be surprised at the timing of Netflix's announcement that it has signed Fifty Shades star Jamie Dornan as the lead in Jadotville, a movie about the remarkable stand of a company of Irish UN peacekeepers against a far bigger force during the 1961 Katangese War in the Congo.
Clearly keen to avoid being typecast as a brooding psycho with control issues, Dornan will play the commanding officer of the Irish battalion, Commandant Patrick Quinlan, who with a force of under 160 men held off several thousand better-equipped Katangese soldiers led by French and Belgian mercenaries, loyal to the breakaway regime of deposed president Moise Tshombe, which in turn was backed by powerful Belgian business interests hostile to Congolese independence. Although the Irish troops were forced to surrender, they didn't lose a single man. However, the Irish authorities, apparently embarrassed at the surrender, refused to give them any official recognition, and the whole affair was consigned to the memory hole until the early 2000s, when a campaign by survivors finally led to a memorial.
Richie Smyth will direct, and French actor Guillaume Canet (Tell No One) plays the French mercenary commanding the Congolese troops.
General release in 2016.