EXCLUSIVE: Mandalay Vision has acquired screen rights to the John H. Scully novel Preemptive Strike. Mandalay Vision is teaming to produce it with the author’s Della Heights Productions, and they have set Paranoia and Vantage Point scribe Barry L. Levy to adapt. Mandalay Vision’s Matthew Rhodes will produce with Scully. Mandalay Vision’s Jennifer Berman is exec producer along with Mandalay Pictures’ Cathy Schulman. Inspired by true events, the novel is a Cold War action thriller about what could have become one of the most dangerous moments during the back and forth between the U.S. and Soviet Union. At a time when the latter’s nuclear missile program was far ahead of America, a young FBI agent was tasked with hunting down a Soviet double agent to protect a critical piece of technology from falling into Russian hands. It could have tipped the scales disastrously and the son of ex-Premier Nikita Khrushchev recently confirmed it actually happened. The book was published in 2010.
“It’s rare to find source material that combines great storytelling with international intrigue and impeccably researched history,” Rhodes said, while Scully called the vision of the movie “The Bourne Identity meets JFK.” Levy is repped by UTA, Kaplan/Perrone and attorney Allison Binder. Loeb & Loeb’s Erik Hyman repped Scully.