Feb 16, 2011

Tradecraft: Joffe Scripts Agent Zigzag For Mike Newell and Tom Hanks

It's been nearly two years since we last heard any development on the Tom Hanks-produced film of Ben Macintyre's Agent Zigzag, a non-fiction account of WWII triple agent Eddie Chapman that was set up at New Line back in 2007 after the book sparked a bidding war.  At that time, Race to Witch Mountain scribe Mark Bomback was penning the adaptation—and entertainment news still came from printed trade journals like Variety. Now it's trade blogs like Deadline, which reports that Rowan Joffe, who scripted the George Clooney assassin drama The American (review here), is now scripting Agent Zigzag.  Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) is still attached to direct, though he's also considering other projects (including another fact-based spy tale, about Alexander Litvinenko).  The story of Edward Arnold Chapman—a charming criminal who was trained by the Germans to spy on the British, but instead offered his services as a double agent to the British—previously inspired the 1966 spy movie Triple Cross, directed by James Bond auteur Terrence Young and starring Christopher Plummer, Gert Frobe, Claudine Auger and Romy Schneider.  This new version has a Bond connection of its own: Ben Macintyre also wrote the book For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming + James Bond.

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