Apr 21, 2010

Tradecraft: GK Films Aims To Reinvent The Spy Genre

According to The Hollywood Reporter, GK Films (the company behind The Tourist) hopes to reinvent the spy genre.  Or to "build the next generation spy movie."  So what does that mean beyond the regurgitated press release platitudes?  Well, the facts are slim... but intriguing.  Apparently it means that "journalist-turned-screenwriter" Peter Landesman has sold a pitch to producers Brad Weston and Graham King (the GK in GK Films).  Former spook Robert Grenier, whose distinguished CIA career saw him serve as a field agent in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Islamabad station chief, head of the Agency's Iraq Issues Group and eventually its deputy director for counterterrorism, will also be involved as a consultant.  It definitely sounds like he knows his stuff!  There are no specific plot details discussed (or even a title), and the rest of the article is made up of enigmatic quotes from Landesman like, "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." He then adds, "Bob Grenier has helped us break though the cliched and hackneyed versions of the spy we're now used to. He's here to keep our feet to the flame, to keep it real." I don't think it's necessary for Landesman to be so dismissive of the very genre he's plunging into, but I'm always happy for more spy movies to get developed (and hopefully made).  The genre's been reinvented again and again in the last century, so that whole angle likely doesn't seem as earth-shattering to its students as it does to those making the claim that they'll do it again, but boasting aside, it certainly sounds like Grenier's involvement and Landesman's journalistic pedigree should add a cool degree of realism to the proceedings.

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