rocket science boarded the biopic “The Good Spy,” about CIA agent Robert Ames, from Oscar-nominated director “Paradise Now” and “Omar” Hany Abu-Assad.
The photo is based on the biography of Ames by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Kai Bird. Scott Frazier (“Berliner”) adapts to the screen.
“Free Solo” and “Everest” producer Evan Hayes will produce under his production company ACE (Anomaly Content & Entertainment). Laurie MacDonald and Walter Parkes will serve as executive producers along with Frazier, while Bird will act as a consultant on the project.
Rocket Science is financing the film and will co-represent worldwide sales with CAA Media Finance.
Abu-Assad said: “When Robert Ames delved deeper into the life of Ali Hasan Salameh, a prominent member of the PLO, he realized that not only was he crossing the line between the CIA and his involvement in his enemy’s cause, but that the friendship between the two men leads to a certain threat to the establishment on both sides. These facts are perfect breeding ground for character-driven drama embedded in a political thriller.
Hayes added, “We’ve always strived to make an elevated and entertaining spy thriller, but we also want to make the film as honest and authentic as possible, and Hany is the perfect filmmaker to help us achieve that. I’m excited to embark on this project with Hany, Scott and the team at Rocket Science & CAA.
Bird’s 2014 book is an hour-by-hour account of the 1983 bombing of the United States Embassy in Beirut and a hard-hitting portrait of CIA agent Ames, who lost his life in the attack.
Ames was one of the most influential intelligence officers in CIA history. He has lived and worked in West Asia (also known as the Middle East) for most of his career and has respected the customs, culture and history of this diverse region. He was America’s top intelligence officer for the Middle East and he wanted to bring peace to the region, even if that meant befriending “the enemy.”
Bird lived as a child at the Beirut Embassy and knew Ames as a neighbor. He spent years researching the book, which has been hailed for its insightful look at a CIA officer’s training and the plot of spy operations in the Middle East. Bird’s book “American Prometheus” is currently in production as “Oppenheimer” with Christopher Nolan directing for Universal Pictures.
“The extraordinary legacy of Robert Ames has only grown in recent times – his example of fundamental human decency is more important than ever. To see his story told by such an incredible filmmaker as Hany Abu Assad will make it truly meaningful,” said Thorsten Schumacher, CEO of Rocket Science.
Abu-Assad was nominated for two Oscars for ‘Paradise Now’ (2005), about two Palestinian men preparing for a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, and ‘Omar’ (2013), a tragic love story set in occupied Palestine, which also won the Jury Prize at the Un Certain Regard competition in Cannes film festival. Other notable credits include “The Mountain Between Us”, starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, for 20th Century Fox.
Frazier wrote the 2013 thriller “The Numbers Station,” which starred John Cusack and Malin Akerman, and the thriller “Autobahn,” starring Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones.
Abu Assad is represented by CAA and Frazier is represented by CAA, AllDayEveryday and attorneys Jeff Frankel and Rob Goldman. CAA also represents the author in conjunction with publishing agent Gail Ross.
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