Christoph Waltz 'to play Mikhail Gorbachev'

image captionChristoph Waltz won the Oscar for best supporting actor for Inglourious Basterds

Oscar-winning Austrian actor Christoph Waltz is to play former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in a new Mike Newell film, according to reports.

The Hollywood Reporter says the Inglourious Basterds star will appear opposite Michael Douglas, who will play former US President Ronald Reagan.

The film, Reykjavik, will centre on the meeting between the two leaders in Iceland that signalled the end of the Cold War in 1986.

Production is due to start in March.

"I feel very fortunate to have two such masters to portray the men who brought about the end of the third great war of the 20th Century," Newell said.

"Reagan and Gorbachev were two of the most significant politicians and individuals of their times.

"I'm very excited to see how each of these great actors gets to grips with their role as the history-changing giants we remember them to have been."

The film will be co-produced by Scott Free Productions, helmed by director Sir Ridley Scott.

Sir Ridley said he was excited "not only by the story and the incredible cast" but also by the "larger issue this film tackles that impacts all of us - non-proliferation and the abolishment of nuclear weapons".

He added: "The film will offer the viewer a unique look into two larger than life figures - Reagan and Gorbachev - who served as the catalysts for one of the most defining moments in our history, the end of the Cold War."

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