Tradecraft: Purvis And Wade Pen New International Thriller, Le Carré Adaptation
Variety reports that James Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who have contributed to every 007 script since The World Is Not Enough, have signed a deal to develop an "untitled international action thriller" with Parkes MacDonald/Imagenation. (That's producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald teamed up with Abu Dhabi financer Imagenation.) The project is based on a concept by Parkes and Michael Lieber, and "centers on an American anthropologist who travels back to the Sahara to come to the assistance of one of his former research subjects - a young man who has been accused of a terrorist attack." According to the trade, "Story will be set amongst the Taureg tribes of the Sahara West Africa, a nomadic people whose uranium rich land has become a focal point for both energy companies and terrorist states."
The story also mentions that Purvis and Wade, like their Bond 23 co-writer, Peter Morgan, have adapted a Le Carré novel, in their case The Mission Song. I had actually reported on this before, but forgotten about it! Anyway, a little digging reveals that Susanna White (who most recently made, um, Nanny McPhee Returns, but has also helmed episodes of critically acclaimed TV series like Generation: Kill and Bleak House) is attached to direct. I haven't read The Mission Song, but I always welcome more Le Carré adaptations. The story centers on a Congolese translator of mixed Congolese/Irish parentage and British citizenship who works part time for an MI6 evesdropping operation known as "the Chat Room" and becomes embroiled in a conspiracy involving governments, arms dealers, bankers and warlords. According to The Daily Mail, it's set to start shooting next spring, but of course there's always a huge grain of salt to be taken where British tabloids are concerned.