From a magical private school to the heart of the Iraq war is quite a jump. Luckily, Jason Isaacs is just the kind of versatile actor to pull it off. (If you don't believe me, take a look at the man's IMDB page -- talk about well-rounded!) Variety reports that Isaacs (aka Lucius Malfoy of Potter fame) has signed to star in Paul Greengrass' military drama, Green Zone. Isaacs will play an American officer in Iraq in the days following the fall of Saddam Hussein. Matt Damon stars as an investigator searching for weapons of mass destruction, Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone) plays as a foreign correspondent from the NYT, and Greg Kinnear makes an appearance as a CIA agent.

Zone is based on the non-fiction book by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, titled Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Baghdad's Green Zone. For those of us who maybe don't watch the nightly news as much as we should, here is a little reminder: "The Green Zone, (the common name for the International Zone of Iraq), is a 10 km² (4 mile²) area in central Baghdad that was the center of the Coalition Provisional Authority and remains the center of the international presence in the city." Chandrasekaran's book highlighted the "absurdities, incompetence, and bureaucratic failings which prevented a timely transfer of power to the Iraqis and bred the growing insurgency" -- you know, just your usual fun bedtime reading.

Greengrass wrote the original script for the military thriller, but eventually L.A. Confidential scribe Brian Helgeland was brought aboard to help smooth out some of the rough edges. Green Zone started filming in Spain last month, and will then move to Morocco (the two locations have served as stand-ins for Iraq, since the production could obviously not work in the actual area). The film has yet to secure a release date, but is scheduled to arrive in theaters sometime in 2009.