Craig Piligian's Pilgrim Studios Adapting William Sebold Book for TV, Film

Double Agent: The First Hero of World War II Cover - P 2014
Courtesy of Scribner

Double Agent: The First Hero of World War II Cover - P 2014

Peter Duffy's "Double Agent" gets optioned for film and TV

Pilgrim Studios, the production company behind OWN's Lindsay and Syfy's Ghost Hunters, has acquired the film and television rights to Peter Duffy's book about the FBI's first double agent.

Double Agent: The First Hero of World War II and How the FBI Outwitted and Destroyed a Nazi Spy Ring, published in July by Scribner, centers on William Sebold, a German-born American citizen who risked his life to become the first double agent in FBI history. His 16-month infiltration of New York City's Nazi underground led to the arrest and conviction of 33 German spies at the dawn of the U.S.' entry into WWII.

“William Sebold thwarted operatives from Nazi Germany who were stealing America’s most vital military secrets right here on U.S. soil," said Pilgrim president and CEO Craig Piligian in a statement. "He was just an ordinary man, but without him, the history of World War II may have been written very differently. We feel so fortunate to bring this hidden gem of a story to the screen, and to be working with such extraordinary material.”

Should the project move forward on the big or small screen, it would join other scripted offerings, such as AMC's returning Revolutionary War period drama Turn, based on Washington's SpiesAlexander Rose's book about the Culper Ring.

Duffy has previously published 2003's The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest and Saved 1,200 Jews and 2007's The Killing of Major Denis Mahon.

Duffy is repped by Mary Evans. RWSG's Sylvie Rabineau brokered the deal with Pilgrim.

In addition to Lindsay and Ghost Hunters, Pilgrim has produced unscripted series including Syfy's The Wil Wheaton Project, Sportsman Channel's Amazing America With Sarah Palin, Lifetime's Bring It! and CNN's Somebody's Gotta Do It, as well as scripted offerings such as ABC Family pilot Recovery Road.