EXCLUSIVE: Fox Searchlight has acquired the rights to The Spy With No Name, a Jeff Maysh eBook published under the Amazon Kindle Single label. Emjag’s Alexandra Milchan and Scott Lambert will produce alongside Argo‘s David Klawans. The book tells the true story of Erwin van Haarlem, a Cold War secret agent whose stolen identity broke the heart of an innocent woman who thought she’d found her long-lost son. When Johanna van Haarlem finally tracked down the son she was forced to give up for adoption, she was delighted that he had grown into a charming Dutch art dealer in London. Unfortunately, he was an imposter, a deadly Communist spy who had stolen her lost son’s identity to uncover British and American military secrets. To maintain his cover, the spy deceived Johanna for 11 years, until MI5 agents caught him red-handed transmitting coded messages.
Searchlight also acquired Český Špion (Czech Spy), a Czech book about the case by Jaroslav Kmenta. It is the second Maysh book to land at Searchlight, which is separately developing The Man Who Got America High. Maysh’s Atlantic article The Wedding Sting is in development at Paramount. Maysh is repped by IPG’s Joel Gotler.