New Line rolls up 'Zigzag'


In a deal worth the high six figures, New Line has pivoted and swiveled to win a bidding war for "Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal," a book by Ben Macintyre. Playtone's Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are producing.

The book, published last week by Harmony Books, centers on the true-life story of Eddie Chapman, a criminal, con man and philanderer who was recruited and trained by the Nazis at the beginning of World War II. Chapman quickly became a master of espionage, and while on a mission to destroy an airplane factory in Britain, contacted the M15, Britain's secret service, thus beginning his life as a double agent.

The bidding war, which ultimately came down to Warner Bros. and New Line, was ignited by a dazzling review in the New York Times. Sources said New Line co-chairman Bob Shaye read the review and made it his mission to acquire the book.

Ironically, Warners made a movie about Chapman back in 1966 titled "Triple Cross." The film, which starred Christopher Plummer as Chapman, was based on a book titled "The Eddie Chapman Story."

Toby Emmerich and Meredith Finn will oversee for the studio.

Macintyre is repped by CAA and literary agent Ed Victor.