Oct 27, 2011

Tradecraft: Actresses Turn Spy Producers

Tradecraft: Actresses Turn Spy Producers

Actresses Anne Hathaway (Get Smart, The Dark Knight Rises) and Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy, Catch Me if You Can) are both trying their hands as first-time producersand they're both starting out with spy projects. Deadline reports that Pompeo has sold a TV series to ABC dealing with the DSS, or Diplomatic Security Service. The DSS is a fascinating branch of U.S. law enforcement because they're the most widely spread out around the world, and (I believe) the only one to routinely carry arms overseas. Part of the DSS's mandate is protective service for American diplomats including the Secretary of State, and I believe this is the branch that Pompeo's project will primarily focus on since it's based on an Elle Magazine article about female bodyguards. But the DSS also handles counterterrorism and counterintelligence. In fact, they're the ones who would investigate a CIA agent attached to an American embassy overseas if the agent became suspect. I've long thought that the DSS were ripe for a good movie or TV project (and have even gotten as far as a treatment for one myself), so I'll be interested to see where this project goes. The Rock actually played a DSS agent in Fast Five, but the agency itself wasn't explored at all. In that case, it was merely a means to have a heavily armed American law enforcement officer firing off a lot of rounds in a foreign country. According to the trade blog, Pompeo's untitled pilot is being written by Mike Sussman, who created the upcoming TNT drama Perception. "The TV project will revolve around Diplomatic Security special agents who travel the world protecting American officials on diplomatic missions and will explore the personal and professional challenges these young women and men face while taking on one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Sussman will write the drama and will executive produce with Pompeo for ABC Studios."

Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter reports that former Agent 99 and current Catwoman Anne Hathaway "has closed a deal" with Paramount to produce and star in the thriller Puzzler. Very few details are available on the project, which will be written by Karl Gajdusek (Trespass), but according to the trade, "the project is described as a female-driven, paranoid thriller in the vein of Three Days of the Condor." That sounds spy-like to me...

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