Feb 21, 2009

Tradecraft: Gaghan Writes Dead Spy

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Syriana writer Stephen Gaghan will soon be returning to the spy genre when he pens the previously announced Dead Spy Running for director/producer McG at Warner Bros. "Based on a book by British author Jon Stock, the film is meant to be the first in a trilogy and aims to reinvent the spy genre by telling the origin story of a newly trained spy in a tone that mixes the grittiness of The Bourne Identity with the wittiness of John Le Carré's oeuvre." Every time this movie is reported on, that's the go-to line: Ludlum meets Le Carré. While Le Carré's tales are, in fact, plenty gritty on their own, and while Ludlum is capable of wit, I assume what they're really trying to say is that this will be like John Le Carré only with lots of action. Which, of course, isn't really like John Le Carré at all, so what's the point of the comparison? Then again, I love both Ludlum and Le Carré, so while I can't imagine two more disparate spy writers, any project that namechecks them both sounds intriguing to me. The book will be published in June, and the trade has a description of its opening: "[Dead Spy Running] begins with the protagonist running the London Marathon, where a fellow racer is strapped with explosives. The scenario leads to a globe-trotting adventure to clear the name of the man's father." It's foreseen as the first in a trilogy. McG is only attached to direct this one so far, but would presumably produce the sequels should the first film be a success. Combined with all the Ludlum stuff currently in development, there's a whole lot of this sort of thing in the pipeline... and I couldn't be happier about it!


Jon Stock said...

Hi there,

I enjoy your blog.

For the record, I'm more of a Le Carre reader and a Bourne watcher.

Happy to send you an unproofed copy of DSR if you're interested.

Best wishes, Jon (Stock)

Tanner said...

Thanks for posting, Jon! And thanks for the clarification. I'd love a copy to read! Please feel free to email me here. I'm looking forward to the book and the movie.