Trio get deep into the spy genre


Peter Landesman, Brad Weston and Graham King want to build the next-generation spy movie.

Landesman, a journalist-turned-screenwriter, has sold an original pitch developed with Weston to King, who will produce through his GK Films. Weston also is producing.

With the involvement of longtime CIA case officer Robert Grenier, the filmmakers aim to explore a previously unseen section of the intelligence world.

"As someone who glanced against the world of spies as a journalist, I wanted to be surprised again," Landesman said. "The operative and intelligence world is a layer cake: the deeper you go, the more covert, the more dangerous.

"The spy genre has tapped most layers, but as an investigative journalist, I began to get wind of one that remained elusive: a layer of operative and intelligence gathering that is virtually without oversight, directed by a small handful, who do things no one will hear of, occasionally at cross-purposes with agencies like the CIA. The DNA of this film is pulled from that world."

Grenier, a former assistant deputy director of the CIA for counterterrorism and an undercover field agent in such locales as Pakistan and Afghanistan, is consulting with Landesman. The station chief in Islamabad during 9/11, Grenier later became head of the Iraq Issues Group before the U.S. invasion of Iraq and then head of the agency's Counterterrorism Center.
He left the agency in 2006.

"Bob Grenier has helped us break though the cliched and hackneyed versions of the spy we're now used to," Landesman said. "He's here to keep our feet to the flame, to keep it real."

The CAA-repped Landesman provided source material for the 2007 sex-trafficking drama "Trade." He also has written a screenplay about the Operacion Jaque hostage rescue in Colombia two years ago for producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura at Warner Bros. and a script about W. Mark Felt/Deep Throat for Playtone at Universal. Both projects are in development.

Weston is producing the Paramount projects "One Chance," "Patriot Down" and "Footloose," which recently attached Craig Brewer to rewrite and direct.

GK Films is shooting "The Tourist" in Italy and has Martin Scorsese's "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" set to begin filming in the summer. Warner Bros. will release GK's "The Town" in the fall.