Let’s rewind to 2006: Among the headlines that year was the mysterious poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, an ex-Russian spy who, from his deathbed, accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of being behind the plot to kill him. Unsurprisingly, the story makes for some great movie fare, and in early 2010 it was revealed Mike Newell was in talks to bring the story to the big screen. The project was called “The Terminal Spy” (though that name seems to have dropped off for now) and was set up over at Warner Bros, with a script by David Scarpa (“The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “The Last Castle“). Newell at the time said he was trying to get a “dynamite piece of casting” for the developing project but he moved on, and we haven’t heard much since.
Well, speaking of dynamite, nobody is more explosive right now than Michael Fassbender, and Deadline reports that WB is trying to get that project moving again, hoping to pair him up with “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” director Rupert Wyatt, who they are in discussions with to take on the project.
Of course, everybody wants a piece of Fassy right now, so who knows if this’ll stick, but it’s a pretty great subject for a movie. Wyatt has been very quiet following the smash success of “Rise Of The Planet Apes” and a transition to something a bit less mo-capped would be a good way to use that heat to try something different. Of course, Fassbender’s early part of 2012 is tied up anyway with “12 Years Of A Slave,” a new project from best bud Steve McQueen also starring Brad Pitt and Chiwetel Ejiofor. So while we’re chalking this one up to an interesting potential vehicle right now, it does still look like WB is dusting off “The Terminal Spy” and looking to get it rolling again.
But there is a competing project out there, as John Sayles recently revealed he has hired to do script work on a project based on the same story, though the details on that one and where it’s at are a bit fuzzier.