Jun 14, 2017

Tradecraft: Aldrich Ames Movie CIRCLE OF TREASON Moves Forward with Director

It's been a while since we heard of any progress on the movie version of CIA counterintelligence officers Sandra Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille's book Circle Of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed, which was already filmed (quite effectively, I thought) as a 2014 ABC miniseries called The Assets. But the movie still lives! Yesterday, Deadline reported that Focus Features has set Massy Tadjedin to direct the film, working from a script by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel, the writers currently penning the Edge of Tomorrow sequel for Doug Liman and Tom Cruise. Tadjedin is best known as a screenwriter (whose credits include the Daniel Craig movie The Jacket), but she also directed the 2010 Keira Knightley movie Last Night. Hopefully in the wake of Wonder Woman's success, we'll see even more female directors like Tadjedin given the opportunity to tell strong female-centered stories like this one. Circle of Treason tells the true story of how real-life female Smileys Grimes and Vertefeuille uncovered one of the most damaging moles in the history of the CIA, Aldrich Ames. Hindering their investigation more than Ames' Soviet handlers is the Agency's institutional chauvinism. It's a great book that already made a compelling (if notoriously under-watched) miniseries, and should make a terrific movie as well. I'll be interested to see who signs on to play Grimes and Vertefeuille, as they are both juicy roles that should attract top-caliber actresses. And, depending on how much screen time he ends up with, Ames himself should be a great role for a top-tier actor as well.

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