CIA Biography 'The Good Spy' to Be Adapted for Film (Exclusive)

Kai Bird’s 2014 book dug deep into the bombing outside the 1983 American Embassy in Beirut.
Courtesy of Crown

Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation have picked up the rights to The Good Spy, Kai Bird’s biography of CIA operative Robert Ames, setting F. Scott Frazier to adapt.

Laurie MacDonald and Walter Parkes, the duo behind the upcoming documentary film He Named Me Malala, will produce along with Evan Hayes. Bird will act as a consultant on the project.

Bird’s 2014 book dug deep into the bombing outside the 1983 American Embassy in Beirut while simultaneously looking into Ames' life. The operative, who lost his life in the bombing, was a Middle East specialist who many saw as the best chance to build bridges through the forging of strong relationships. 

Ames became an icon in intelligence circles as an example of what a “good” spy truly was, and his grave at the Arlington National Cemetery is the only one that bears the words Central Intelligence Agency.

The book was praised for handling the complexity of the list of players, the intrigue of spy operations in the Middle East and Bird's extrapolation of the influence of the bombing on the ongoing conflict in the region.

The producers plan to emphasize Ames' character and story in the film, and do not plan to delve deeply into the larger, ongoing tensions that plague the Middle East.

Frazier wrote the 2013 thriller The Numbers Station, which starred John Cusack and Malin Akerman, as well as Autobahn, a thriller that stars Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones. Autobahn is due for an October 30 release from Relativity although it’s unclear how that company’s financial woes will affect its distribution.

Frazier is repped by CAA, DMG Entertainment, and attorneys Jeff Frankel and Rob Goldman. CAA also reps the author in conjunction with publishing agent Gail Ross.