ABC has given a put pilot commitment to drama Enemy of The State, a sequel to the 1998 Tony Scott movie, which starred Will Smith and Gene Hackman. The project hails from the film’s producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, and ABC Studios.
Written by Blackhat scribe Morgan Davis Foehl, the drama is set two decades after the original film, when an elusive NSA spy is charged with leaking classified intelligence, an idealistic female attorney must partner with a hawkish FBI agent to stop a global conspiracy that threatens to expose dark secrets, and personal mysteries connect all three of their lives.
This marks Bruckheimer’s return to ABC Studios where he was based until the studio pulled out of the Jerry Bruckheimer TV-produced CSI shortly after the project had been picked up to series by CBS in 2000 following a pass by ABC. It would go on to become a billion-dollar franchise.
For the past 15 years, Jerry Bruckheimer Television was under a deal at Warner Bros. TV until the end of May when the most recent pact ended. Enemy of the State marks JBT’s first major TV sale with another TV studio following its exit from WBTV. The project is not part of a larger agreement between JBT and ABC Studios but stems from the fact that the Enemy of the State movie was produced by Disney. Over the past few months, Bruckheimer and his TV team have been meeting with investors for potential relaunch of JBT as an independent studio, and I hear the company also has explored another traditional alliance with a major TV studio.
On the unscripted side, Bruckheimer and ABC Studios continue to collaborate on the Emmy-winning CBS series The Amazing Race, which was developed and sold while JBT was still at the studio, with ABC Studios remaining a co-producer.
Enemy of the State is executive produced Foehl as well as Jerry Bruckheimer Television’s Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed.
The original spy thriller movie, which tackled the hot-button topic of domestic surveillance, was written by David Marconi and grossed more than $250 million at the box-office. (Watch a trailer below)
Foehl’s first produced feature was Blackhat from director Michael Mann and Legendary Pictures. He’s currently adapting Escape from Davao, a true-life World War II thriller based on the book by John D. Lukacs for producer Tripp Vinson. He also has The Asset in development at 20th Century Fox with Ridley Scott producing. His script Whatever Gets You Through The Night was featured on the 2009 Black List. Foehl is repped by CAA, Wirehouse Entertainment, and Jackoway Tyerman.
Bruckheimer is currently in pre-production on Horse Soldiers, a movie he’s making with Danish filmmaker Nicolai Fuglsig about U.S. forces in Afghanistan during the months after 9/11. Jerry Bruckheimer TV is repped by CAA.