Ben Foster, James Badge Dale & Melissa Leo To Star In Crime Drama ‘King Ivory’

Crime drama King Ivory, having been forced to halt production with the launch of the SAG-AFTRA strike, is back up and running once again, having been named as one of 39 productions that will benefit from a SAG Interim Agreement.

While production on the majority of studio projects has shuttered, the actors guild is offering interim agreements to projects of “truly independent producers,” with no affiliation to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the understanding being that these producers will be bound retroactively to contract terms secured once the SAG-AFTRA strike resolves.

Previously unannounced actors returning to set include Ben Foster, James Badge Dale, and Melissa Leo. The film will also feature Michael Mando, Rory Cochrane, Ritchie Coster, and Graham Greene.

John Swab is writer and director on the film, which is based on extensive research involving Oklahoma law enforcement and active gang members, offering an authentic look inside the underworld of fentanyl trafficking from gangs inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary at McAlester, nicknamed ‘Big Mac.’

With potency 100 times that of heroin and nearly undetectable at the border, the drug nicknamed King Ivory has flooded the market, triggering a tidal wave of overdoses, crime, and addiction.

The film chronicles the efforts of a joint local, state and federal task force aiming to prevent trafficking by the Irish Mob’s George ‘Smiley’ Greene, his mother Ginger and uncle Mickey, who are in partnership with the Indian Brotherhood’s Holt and the New Generation Mexican cartel’s Ramón.

Jeremy M. Rosen is producing the project, and said in a statement: “John and I feel strongly that King Ivory is our best and most timely script and cast to date. Fentanyl has proven to be perhaps the most fatal pandemic in modern history, claiming countless lives, including our late friend and Body Brokers lead actor, Michael Kenneth Williams.

King Ivory is a proudly independent production. We are grateful to SAG-AFTRA for making the Interim Agreement available to us amidst this climate of important change.”

Other productions that will benefit from the SA Interim Agreement include A24’s Mother Mary, Ishana Night Shyamalan‘s The Watchers, and the Sam Raimi-produced Don’t Move.


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