Oct 15, 2008

Tradecraft: From Europe With Love

I love spy stories with great European locations, and two are in the news today: a TV show and a movie.

Ronin: The Series

According to The Hollywood Reporter, MGM is developing its 1998 spy hit Ronin into a television series--and it will be shot in Europe! (Probably.) The series will be co-produced by the BBC, which is also good news. Says the trade: "Ronin is being produced in the U.K. with Steven Garrett and Jane Featherstone's Kudos Prods., and MGM exec vp Chris Ottinger said the partners are looking for an American lead. 'Jean Reno would be great, too,' he added, referring to the iconic French actor who co-starred alongside [Robert] De Niro in the 1998 movie, which grossed about $93 million worldwide." Kudos are, of course, the producers of Spooks (known here in the U.S. as MI-5), so that's good news. John Frankenheimer's film united several ex-Bond villains (Jonathan Price, Sean Bean and Michael Lonsdale) in a plot about masterless spies (hence the title, referring to masterless samurai) wandering post-Cold War Europe. It's best remembered for its tight pacing, gritty filmmaking, fabulous European locations and impressive car chases, all of which would make for an excellent TV series, in my opinion.

Travolta's Eurospy Flick Delayed

Variety reports that production has been shut down on the latest Luc Besson-produced neo-Eurospy movie, From Paris With Love, following arson. Ten stunt vehicles for the film, parked in a stadium parking lot, were torched in the economically-deprived Montfermeil suburb of Paris. The trade says, "According to a EuropaCorp spokesman, production has been 'postponed, but not abandoned for the moment.'"

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