Jonathan Levine in Talks to Direct 'Dead Spy Running' Adaptation

March 12, 2012

Jonathan Levine / Dead Spy Running

While the director has stayed in mostly low key comedic and dramatic fare like The Wackness and 50/50, with a dip into genre films coming in the form of the zombie romance Warm Bodies, it looks like Jonathan Levine is ready to make his foray into some big action. While Traffic and Syriana screenwriter Stephen Gaghan was slated to direct an adaptation of Dead Spy Running, based on Jon Stock's book of the same name, it sounds like Twitch has heard that Levine is now in talks to direct the film which is being produced by McG and Kevin McCormick, though it's surprising the former producer isn't taking the project himself.

Described as John Le Carre (writer of the novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy that inspired the film) meets Jason Bourne, here's the official synopsis of the British book:

Daniel Marchant, a suspended MI6 officer, is running the London Marathon. He is also running out of time. A competitor is strapped with explosives. If he drops his pace, everyone around him will be killed, including the US ambassador to London. Marchant tries to thwart the attack, but is he secretly working for the terrorists? There are those in America who already suspect Marchant of treachery. Just like they suspected his late father, the former head of MI6, who was removed from his job by the CIA. On the run from the CIA, Marchant is determined to prove his father's innocence in a personal journey that takes him from Wiltshire, via Poland, to India. It was here that the former MI6 chief once met with one of the world's most wanted terrorists, and where the new President of America is shortly to visit. But was that meeting proof of a mole within MI6 or the best penetration of Al Qaeda the West has ever had? And was Marchant's father the keeper of another, darker secret?

Levine doesn't seem like the most obvious choice for the film, but if he really is in talks to take on the adaptation, then maybe he's got a great vision that jives with action crazy producer McG. The script will still come from Gaghan and Jame Moss, so at least we know the film will also have a phenomenal screenplay. Levine is certainly a great director on the rise, and 50/50 deserve much more awards praise than it received, especially with its handling of such dramatic material and blending it was some truly raucous laughs that blew straight-up comedies out of the water last year. As of now, we'll have to wait and see how Levine fares with Warm Bodies starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer. Sound good?

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