Mar 2, 2012

Tradecraft: Brian Kirk Ponders Ludlum's The Osterman Weekend

It's been a while since we've heard about any movement on Summit's new adaptation of the 1972 Robert Ludlum novel The Osterman Weekend (his second), which was previously made into a film in 1983 by Sam Peckinpah. This week, that changed. Deadline reports that Irish director Brian Kirk (Luther, My Boy Jack) is now in talks to direct the conspiracy thriller, using a script by Simon Kinberg and Jesse Wigutow. Ludlum's novel follows his most successful formula of an ordinary man thrust into international espionage. It follows a TV executive named John Tanner who's told by the CIA that one of his guests at an upcoming weekend get together is a KGB agent, and asked to help the Agency ferret out the traitor. The new movie will be updated, and according to the trade blog it will now be a reporter rather than a CIA agent who gives Tanner the news that one of his friends is not who he thinks he is. Back in 2008, Kinberg himself was aiming to make Osterman his directorial debut. By 2010, Wigutow was penning a rewrite and RED's Robert Schwentke was circling the project. Apparently Bourne Identity helmer Doug Liman (who collaborated with Kinberg on Mr. & Mrs. Smith) also flirted with it for long enough to add himself to the film's long list of producers, which also includes Kinberg, Peter Davis and Captivate Entertainment's Jeffrey Weiner and Ben Smith, cinematic keepers of the Ludlum flame.

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