UPDATE, 12:26 PM: The Mark Gordon Company and Entertainment One have pacted to bring the Neil Burger-directed thriller All The Old Knives to the screen. It is the first project from their recently launched indie studio. Casting will now begin with an eye for principal photography to commence by year’s end.
“We are excited to be involved in such a compelling project and are looking forward to starting production this year. All The Old Knives is the perfect kick off to our venture with Mark, and we are very pleased to distribute the film in our territories and with partners worldwide. This is the first of many successful collaborations to come where our global financing and distribution footprint supports Mark’s efforts to bring great films to market,” Steve Bertram, President, Global Film Group, Entertainment One, said in a statement.
eOne will handle worldwide distribution on the project and will directly distribute the film in all of its territories including Canada, the U.K., Spain, Benelux, Australia and New Zealand.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, SEPTEMBER 23 AM: Neil Burger is attached to direct All The Old Knives, the spy thriller adaptation of Olen Steinhauer’s upcoming novel that Chockstone Pictures partners Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz and Nick Wechsler optioned in April. The author wrote the script. Burger is coming off the hits Divergent and Limitless.
The thriller takes place in the idyllic town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, where two ex-lovers — one CIA spy and one ex-CIA spy — meet for dinner and to reminisce. They relive their memories of the disastrous hijacking of Royal Jordanian Flight 127, which ended in the death of all on board, a failure that haunts the CIA’s Vienna station to this day. The question is whether Henry has come to dinner to rekindle the romance or to get to the bottom of a conspiracy. It also becomes clear that one of the ex-lovers may not survive the meal.
“Olen Steinhauer has written a fantastic, suspenseful, sophisticated drama set in the world of the CIA,” Burger said. “As a director, I love that it’s a tightly woven puzzle, a mystery involving counter-terrorism and also a mystery of the human heart. Best of all are the two very clever and calculating characters at the center of the story who are dealing with issues of loyalty, sacrifice and a lot of sexual tension. I can’t wait to start casting them.”
Schwartz, Wechsler and Schwartz are producing in a co-production between Chockstone and Nick Wechsler Productions, and Roger Schwartz is a co-producer. CAA reps Burger.
The producers said they were big Burger fans. “We love his taste, his choices, his directorial vision,” they said. “Prior to attaching Neil, a number of leading actors were already circling the project. Now with Neil aboard, we will immediately start casting.”
The novel will be published in March by St. Martins imprint Minotaur. The producers are also percolating the Sascha Arango novel The Truth And Other Lies and the Peter Swanson novel The Kind Worth Killing, which Chris Kyle is adapting. As was the case with the Ridley Scott-directed Cormac McCarthy-scripted The Counselor, they use their own money to develop and move quickly.