A short directing history may render these words moot, but it’s still fair to say that the past twelve months have been some of the most productive and lucrative in Jonathan Levine‘s entire career. 50/50 was released in September, Warm Bodies began shooting immediately after (with post-production currently underway), and we now have this. As Twitch reports, the writer-director has been selected by McG to direct Dead Spy Running, a Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana) and Jamie Moss-scripted adaptation of Jon Stock‘s spy novel that, if all goes as planned, could serve as the first in a trilogy. (We’re still too early in to enter that kind of talk, though.)
Doing a grounded and serious take would make Spy, among other things, another example of Levine‘s willingness to leap from one genre to the next as he sees fit. (For context: He’s done a horror film, a pot comedy, a cancer dramedy, and a zombie romance. I’d call that eclectic.) And while entirely familiar to an espionage connoisseur, the skeleton of Stock‘s plot leaves a ton of room for some globe-hopping, revenge-getting fun; putting a good guy behind the camera only makes it all the more encouraging.
Here’s a longer synopsis of the original book (via Amazon):
“Daniel Marchant, a gifted covert operative for MI6, is suspended after the CIA forces the British to dismiss his father from his post as head of England’s intelligence service. Both Marchants are seen by the Brits as regrettable collateral damage in the war on terrorism, but after Daniel foils a suicide bomber in the London Marathon, saving the life of the American ambassador, he’s renditioned to a CIA black site in Poland and waterboarded. MI6 breaks him out of the prison and Daniel must avoid a global Agency manhunt to foil a terrorist plot and salvage his father’s reputation.”
What do you think of Levine doing a spy story? Or, specifically, this spy story?