The filmmaker had planned to cast a male to play drone expert Colonel Powell in Eye in the Sky, but his little girl made him rethink the role.

He tells WENN, "I have twins, a boy and a girl, and I loathe seeing my little girl ever feeling that she can't do whatever she wants.

"I want this movie to be discussed by all of us. We are moving into an age of greater automation in warfare. More and more women are in positions of power. We may have a female President; other countries do.

"So I didn't want to make a guy's war movie and discourage half my audience from coming. From a commercial point of view, if Helen Mirren is the lead and truthfully I'm reading the script and I'm thinking who can play this Colonel as a fully fleshed out character. I'm thankful that she agreed to do this role."