Robert De Niro, Shia LaBeouf in Talks to Play Father-Son Spy Duo (Exclusive)

Robert De Niro Shia LaBeouf - H 2013
<p>Robert De Niro Shia LaBeouf - H 2013</p>   |   Getty Images
D. J. Caruso is in negotiations to direct "Spy's Kid," which would reteam him with his "Disturbia" star.

Paramount is making a play on a package that includes Shia LaBeouf, Robert De Niro and director D.J. Caruso.

The studio is picking up Spy’s Kid, a Catch Me If You Can-style story set in the world of espionage with LaBeouf and De Niro attached to play a son-father spy duo under Caruso's direction. The helmer worked with LaBeouf on the actor's breakout hit Disturbia as well as Eagle Eye.

Raymond Brothers and Scott Glassgold of IAM Entertainment are on board to produce.

The movie project is based on a dramatic six-part series of articles by Bryan Denson that were published in The Oregonian in 2011 and told the true story of a traitorous spy who enlists his son to continue his work.

THR has learned that the rights deals have closed and that Caruso is in negotiations. LaBeouf and De Niro are in talks to attach themselves to the project. The actors' final involvement will depend on any script that is written.

STORY: Alec Baldwin's 'Last' Interview: I Was Born to Spit on Rupert Murdoch

Jim Nicholson was a 20-year CIA vet who in 1996 was convicted of spying and sentenced to 23 years in prison, becoming the highest-ranking officer convicted of espionage. In 2004, his youngest son, Nathan Nicholson, began to seek solace and advice from his father in an Oregon federal prison after leaving behind a failed Army career and in a state of depression. The father raised his son’s spirits but also coached him in spycraft, in effect launching a second act of espionage from behind bars by using his son as a courier.

In the ensuing year and a half, Nathan traveled the world selling secrets to the Russians, all the while getting deeper and deeper over his head.

Grove-Atlantic just won the publishing rights in a bidding war for the book.

IAM controls the book’s film rights and also has a non-profit agreement with Nathan for his life rights, per his probation terms. Nathan has never given an interview to any other journalist besides Denson.

Jarod Einsohn is attached as exec producer and Emily Berger as co-producer.

No writer is attached.

Brothers and Glassgold were producers on the Weinstein Co.'s Hurricane Season, another true-life tale that starred Forest Whitaker. Lately they have been in the hot shorts game, setting up True Skin at WB and Rosa at Fox. 

LaBeouf is currently on screens starring opposite Robert Redford in The Company You Keep while De Niro is now shooting David O. Russell's latest picture after wrapping up boxing flick Grudge Match for Warners.

LaBeouf, De Niro and Caruso are repped by CAA. LaBeouf is additionally repped by John Crosby Management and attorney Matthew Saver. De NIro is also repped by Grubman Indursky while Caruso is also repped by Media Talent Group and Bloom Hergott.

IAM is repped by Myman Greenspan.