Mark Boal to Explore 2016 Election With Showtime Spy Thriller

The premium cable network has handed out a series commitment — and opened a writers room — for the drama 'Intelligence,' marking the 'Hurt Locker' grad's first TV foray.
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Mark Boal

Mark Boal is setting his sights on television.

The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty alum is set to write, direct and executive produce the spy thriller Intelligence, which has nabbed a sizable series commitment from Showtime.

The potential show — which would still need a formal series order to move forward — serves as Boal's first television foray.

Based on real stories from around the world, Intelligence will explore the secret inner workings of power and how espionage intersects with politics, finance, media and Silicon Valley. The first season, in success, will explore the behind-the-scenes history that led to the 2016 U.S. election. Each subsequent season will look at a major world even through the lens of covert operations.

Intelligence is a co-production between Showtime and Michael Ellenberg's Media Res (Apple's The Morning Show). Boal will exec produce alongside his Page 1 president and former New York Times magazine editor Hugo Lindgren and Megan Ellison. The latter is a partner in Page 1. Alan Poul and Jason Horwitch will also exec produce.

Intelligence is the latest collaboration for Boal and Ellison following Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker. The project was first announced in February 2017, when Lindgren began assembling a group of investigative journalists in New York and Washington as contributors for the potential series.

"As he showed with both The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Mark truly excels at transforming current events into gripping, scripted drama,” Showtime entertainment president Gary Levine said Monday in a statement. “When he told us he wanted to use those same, extraordinary abilities to create his first television series, we leapt at it.”

Intelligence arrives as Showtime will say farewell to the flagship drama Homeland this year and as it prepares to launch The Loudest Voice, its Roger Ailes series. The premium cabler's roster of originals includes Billions, The Chi, Ray Donovan, Shameless, Kidding, Halo, City on a Hill, Black Monday, Penny Dreadful, The L Word and more.

Former journalist Boal earned Oscars for best picture and screenplay for The Hurt Locker. Zero Dark Thirty also earned Oscar nominations in both categories. His other credits include In the Valley of Elah and Detroit. Boal is repped by WME, Management 360 and Jackoway Austen.

Media Res, overseen by former HBO drama head Ellenberg, now has four shows in the works, with Intelligence joining the Apple trio The Morning Show, Pachinko and the untitled Brie Larson project.