Matt Helm Movie Update
A story in The Hollywood Reporter in April with big news about the latest attempt to bring Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm back to the big screen somehow escaped my attention at the time. The story was about producer Bobby Cohen being hired as president of Kurtzman/Orci Productions. And, yes, that means that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the script masterminds behind the excellent Star Trek reboot that's currently raking in the dollars, are now officially producing Matt Helm! But the Star Trek scribes aren't writing it. Those duties fall to screenwriting heavyweight Paul Attanasio. All involved have impressive spy CVs already. Kurtzman and Orci wrote for and executive produced the 1800s-set Bruce Campbell tongue-in-cheek spy series Jack of All Trades early in their careers, then went on to write and produce on Alias, one of the best spy series of the modern era. They also wrote Mission: Impossible III. (That's the good one.) Attanasio co-wrote the screenplay for the most recent Jack Ryan movie, The Sum of All Fears, and also penned the infinitely superior Steven Soderbergh film The Good German, an underrated black and white tale of espionage and intrigue in postwar Berlin. So, in my opinion, Matt Helm appears to be in good hands. Attanasio moderated a panel with Kurtzman and Orci at the WGA tonight in Beverly Hills, and all three confirmed their involvement in the Matt Helm movie afterwards. The target date is Summer 2010, and they're aiming for a tone somewhere between Dean Martin's goofy spoofs and Donald Hamilton's gritty novels, but leaning more toward the latter. Serious, but fun.