MGM Nabs Big-Screen Rights to Terry Hayes’ Espionage Novel 'I Am Pilgrim'

"I Am Pilgrim" by Terry Hayes
"I Am Pilgrim" by Terry Hayes
 Courtesy of Atria

MGM has acquired big-screen rights to Terry Hayes’ best-selling espionage thriller I Am Pilgrim.

Hayes, a former journalist and accomplished screenwriter whose credits include Payback, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Dead Calm is adapting his debut novel, which MGM envisions as a franchise.

“In creating such an original character in such a riveting, relevant story, Terry has provided us a great template for not only one film, but for a series that can play to global audiences for many years to come,” MGM president Jonathan Glickman said.

STORY: Inside Buzzy Beach Read 'I Am Pilgrim'

“Pilgrim” is the codename for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for U.S. intelligence. Now in anonymous retirement, he is called upon to lend his expertise to an unusual investigation but ultimately becomes caught in a terrifying race against time to save America from oblivion. 

Lloyd Braun is producing the film through his Whalerock Industries (formerly BermanBraun). Whalerock's Andrew Mittman will executive produce. Glickman and Matt Dines will oversee the project for the studio.

The book, which recently landed on The New York Times best-seller list and has appeared on various recommended summer reading lists nationwide, is being translated into 20 foreign-language editions.

"Having written and produced movies myself, the most important thing for me when it came to selling the film rights to Pilgrim was the people who would be involved," Hayes said. "Luckily, it turned out better than I could have ever imagined -- I have had the pleasure of working with Gary Barber and Jonathan Glickman previously and I have long been an admirer of Lloyd Braun and the wonderful material he has championed. I couldn't be happier that not only this book, but those which are due to follow, is in their hands."

Hayes is represented by WME and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller.

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