Bradley Cooper Spy Movie 'Matt Helm' Enlists Writer Tom Shepherd

The title character, a counter-assassination agent, was once played by Dean Martin in a series of spoof films.
Win McNamee/Getty Images; Courtesy of WME
Bradley Cooper, Tom Shepherd

Screenwriter Tom Shepherd is reporting for duty.

Shepherd will pen a script for Paramount's Matt Helm, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. The film has Bradley Cooper attached to star as the character first introduced in late author Donald Hamilton's series of spy novels, which he published from 1960-1993 over 27 volumes.

Helm is a counter-assassination agent whose mission is to stop spies from other countries. Dean Martin played the character in a series of 1960s spoof films, while Tony Franciosa stepped into Helm's shoes for a short-lived ABC drama from 1975-1976. In the novels, Helm is drawn into his former life as a World War II espionage agent after leaving it behind to live in Santa Fe with his family. The New Mexico city is the home of Helm's creator, who died in 2006.

George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are executive producing. Steven Spielberg, who in 2009 was said to be interested in directing the film, remains attached on a producing level.

Shepherd is one of the writers behind Universal's The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, which stars Robert Downey Jr. and is directed by Stephen Gaghan. It's set for a 2019 release date. The screenwriter's 2012 script Hey, Stella! — about Marlon Brando nabbing his role in Broadway's A Streetcar Named Desire — made it onto the Black List.

Shepherd is repped by WME.