House of Cards star to take role of wartime leader in "Captain of the Gate," focusing on Churchill's rise to power in 1940

Kevin Spacey looks set to play Winston Churchill in a new biopic of the British wartime leader, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Captain of the Gate will centre on Churchill's rise to power in the second world war, when he led his country against Hitler's regime. The screenplay is by Ben Kaplan, who has written about US president Ronald Reagan for a History Channel film and worked on documentaries about Vietnam and the second world war.

Spacey is reportedly attached to the project, which is seeking a director. The double Oscar winner is experiencing something of a career renaissance, with Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for his role as a less well-respected politician: Francis Underwood in the Netflix drama House of Cards.

Churchill was named the greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 poll for the BBC. He took the lead in warning about Nazi Germany and led a national unity government against Hitler between 1940 and 1945 following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain. Churchill lost the postwar election to a resurgent Labour party, but was again prime minister between 1951 and 1955 for the Conservatives. He is the only figure in history to have served as first lord of the Admiralty in two world wars and the only prime minister to have won the Nobel prize for literature.

He has most recently been played on screen by Timothy Spall (in The King's Speech), Andy Nyman (in Peaky Blinders) and Brendan Gleeson (in Into the Storm).

Captain of the Gate is being put together at production company Sierra/Affinity and looks likely to be financed by France's StudioCanal. © Guardian News and Media 2014