May 15, 2014

Tradecraft: Forthcoming Olen Steinhauer Novel Optioned for the Screen

Olen Steinhauer's next novel, All the Old Knives, isn't due out until next year, but it's already been optioned for a film. Deadline reports that Chockstone Pictures partners Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz have teamed with Nick Wechsler (The Counselor) to acquire the film rights to the book, and set Steinhauer to pen the script. That's exciting! Steinhauer, for my money, is one of the best contemporary spy novelists out there, and it's kind of shocking that his books haven't yet been discovered by Hollywood. (The most obvious one to start with is the first of the Milo Weaver trilogy, The Tourist. Last we heard, after a period of development with George Clooney's company, that was in the capable hands of The Bourne Identity director Doug Liman and Covert Affairs writers Matt Corman and Chris Ord... but there's been no news since 2012.) Here's how the trade describes the plot, which Wechsler describes as "an extraordinary two-hander that will attract extraordinary talent."
The book takes place in the idyllic town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, where two ex-lovers–one CIA spy and one ex-CIA spy–meet for dinner and to reminisce. They relive their memories of the disastrous hijacking of Royal Jordanian Flt 127, which ended in the death of all onboard. It’s a failure that haunts the CIA’s Vienna station to this day. The question is whether Henry has come to dinner to rekindle the romance or get to the bottom of a conspiracy. It also becomes clear that one of the ex-lovers may not survive the meal.
Sounds good! The book won't be published until early 2015, but in the meantime Steinhauer has just released The Cairo Affair.

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