May 3, 2010

Tradecraft: New Regency Pursues The Gray Man

The Hollywood Reporter reports that New Regency has hired writer Adam Cozad to adapt Mark Greaney's 2009 novel The Gray Man.  Personally, when I hear "the Gray Man," my mind immediately jumps to the shadowy agent of "The Network" who liased with the Hardy Boys on their coolest cases in the late Eighties.  (I know; I'm probably the only one.)  I'm not talking about the classic hardcover series, but the, er, edgier, ever-so-slightly more adult "Casefiles" series in which people really got killed and the brothers sometimes trotted the globe contending with international espionage.  On those missions (as I've said, the best ones), a mysterious operative called the Gray Man often got them into and out of scrapes.  Whenever he showed up, you knew it was going to be a really good one.  (I've often said that I went directly from devouring Hardy Boys books to devouring Robert Ludlum novels and the only things that really changed were the page count and the number of sex scenes.  Perhaps that's a bit unfair to the late and truly great Mr. Ludlum, but then again perhaps it's a credit to whatever poor, unsung ghostwriters operated under the moniker of Franklin W. Dixon at that time.)  Anyway, I digress.  Apologies for the tangent.  This news item has absolutely nothing to do with the Hardy Boys' Gray Man, but with what the Hollywood Reporter calls "a former CIA operative-turned-assassin with the alias 'The Gray Man' [who] suddenly finds himself on the run through Europe as mysterious forces try to take him out. Meanwhile, he struggles to return and save the lives of the daughters who don’t know he exists."  So, we're definitely in Ludlum territory here: more pages and more sex scenes.  (Presumably.)  I haven't read the book, but I can always be counted on to buy a ticket for this sort of movie.

The trade points out that Cozad brings a lot of spy cred to the table: "He wrote the original action script Dubai, which was set up with Lorenzo di Bonaventura at Paramount, and he has adapted Rules of Deception for Paramount and The Brotherhood of the Rose for Warner Bros. Cozad is also writing a script for a new Jack Ryan film at Paramount."

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