EXCLUSIVE: Chris Weitz is in early discussions to direct the untitled Matthew Orton-scripted MGM drama about the team that hunted down and captured Adolf Eichmann, one of the major architects of the Holocaust. Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Automatik is producing, and Matt Charman is exec producing. MGM made a preemptive buy for the script last November, and it is moving very quickly toward the start line.
And what a villain. It was Eichmann who organized the transport of Jews from countries all over Europe to concentration camps where millions were murdered. After the war, he fled to his home country of Austria and then moved to Argentina. The Israeli intelligence agency Mossad uncovered the whereabouts of the infamous Nazi in 1960, and teams of Mossad and Shin Bet agents staged a raid to capture the war criminal and brought him to Israel to face crimes against humanity and the Jewish people. He was sentenced to hang and was executed in 1962, unrepentant all the way to the grave. The thriller spec is closer to the tone of Argo than Munich in creating thriller stakes in the manhunt for one of the most diabolical war criminals of the 20th century.
MGM hasn’t yet aligned with a distributor, but is trying to keep the momentum of Spectre and Creed, with the remakes of Ben-Hur and The Magnificent Seven coming fast on their heels.
Weitz last directed A Better Life and more recently scripted Cinderella and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He’s repped by WME.