EXCLUSIVE: StudioCanal and The Picture Company have set director Drake Doremus for The Tracking Of A Russian Spy, the fact-based thriller based on the novella by Mitch Swenson. The Picture Company’s Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman are producing. The script is written by Charles Cumming, and production is eyed for the fall. The story centers on a secret romance Swenson had with Katya, a young and mysterious Russian woman he met in a New York nightclub. She disappeared suddenly after the arrest in 2010 of 10 Russian Americans who were charged with spying for the Kremlin. Swenson traveled to Moscow to uncover who his love really was, leading him down a rabbit hole of intrigue and shadow government operations deep within Russia.

tracking of a russian spyDoremus, best known for helming Like Crazy, most recently helmed the Kristen Stewart and Nicolas Hoult sci-fi-romance Equals, which A24 will release later this year. Swenson is a journalist who lives in New York who got into reporting by writing dispatches on the Egyptian revolution while studying journalism in Cairo. He continued reporting in places like South Sudan and Syria, and eventually his own life played out in this adventure that forms the basis for a film in the spirit of thrillers Three Days Of The Condor and Marathon Man.

StudioCanal and The Picture Company are in pre-production on the Liam Neeson starrer The Commuter, which Jaume Collet Serra will direct. Ron Halpern and Shana Eddy are overseeing for StudioCanal.

Doremus is repped by UTA and UK-based 42.