EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Pictures is in talks with Michael Werwie to script Operation Shakespeare, an adaptation of the John Shiffman book. Title was the code name for an international sting, led by an elite Homeland Security team, to snare foreign arms dealers from acquiring and selling U.S. military technology. The book was published this month by Simon & Schuster. Werwie is scripting Lost Girls for Warner Bros.
Legendary showed at Comic-Con it can mount monster movies with the best of them, but this project follows an equally hot-button premise thriller Blackhat, the Michael Mann-directed pic that stars Chris Hemsworth, as an example the company is growing into topical subject matter. The sting focused on microchips, gyroscopes, radar-cloaking and night-vision technology that were developed and manufactured in the U.S. at extraordinary cost. The tiny weapons capable of guiding missiles, seeing through walls and triggering explosives were falling into the hands of enemies. John Shiffman, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, followed a trail that began with an Iranian arms broker and some U.S. defense contractors who put profit over national security, and the case spanned from Philly to London, Dubai, Beverly Hills and Tbilisi. Complicating matters is the Iranian’s government plot to assassinate him after he’s caught.
The screenwriter’s repped by UTA and Evolution Entertainment Partners.