Mar 11, 2015

Tradecraft: 3 Days of the Condor Gets Remade for Television

The Hollywood Reporter (via Dark Horizons) reports that we'll soon get a new adaptation of one of the all-time classic spy novels, which was previously adapted into one of the all-time classic spy movies. According to the trade, Skydance Productions (better known for their big screen ventures like Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and the upcoming fifth entry in that series, but also behind WGN's atomic espionage series Manhattan), in partnership with MGM and Paramount TV, is developing what they call "a small-screen remake of Sydney Pollack's Three Days of the Condor" (1975). Whether that's really what it is, or whether writers Jason Smilovic (Lucky Number Slevin, My Own Worst Enemy) and Todd Katzberg are going back to the original source material, James Grady's 1974 novel Six Days of the Condor, remains to be seen. Differences between the page and screen are greater than just the number of days for which Condor is on the run, and both have their strong suits. The ending is radically different from version to version. So is the name of the hero, interestingly, changed from Ronald Malcolm in the book to Joe Turner in the movie. When we hear which name they're going with for the TV lead, that might be a clue as to which source they'll primarily draw from. The project is currently being shopped to networks, and it's unclear at this time if it will be a miniseries or an ongoing show.

Grady recently published a new sequel, Last Days of the Condor, (as well as a short story, "Next Day of the Condor," which bridges the 37-year gap between the second book, Shadow of the Condor, and the new one) which was optioned by MGM for a possible film. (It would certainly be great to see Robert Redford return to that role.) And the Condor character also made a cameo in his 2006 novel Mad Dogs, which is itself being prepped for a film version by director Jay Roach (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.) I love both the book and the movie, and I have no problem with a new television interpretation of Condor. In fact, I think it's a great idea. I'll be very curious to see how this one pans out.

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