Empire producer Imagine TV is putting the final touches on a pitch for The Perfect Kill, a cable drama series based on the book by decorated CIA agent Robert B. Baer, whose portrayal in Syriana, an adaptation of his book See No Evil, earned George Clooney an Oscar.
The Bridge co-developer/showrunner Elwood Reid has come on board as writer/showrunner for the adaptation, which will be taken out to cable networks by Fox 21 TV Studios next week.
This has been a passion project for Imagine‘s Brian Grazer, who optioned Baer’s The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws For Assassins last June, ahead of the book’s October release. It chronicles the history of assassination as a political tool and outlines Baer’s rules for an effective kill. The show will focus on plans to eliminate people in power in foreign countries who are considered a danger to America or threaten to destabilize other countries. Executive producing the project are Imagine TV’s Grazer and Francie Calfo, Reid and Baer.
In light of the blockbuster success of the feature American Sniper, the premise of The Perfect Kill is very much in the zeitgeist. While the two tackle different subjects — a Navy SEAL sniper and someone carrying on political assassinations — there are obvious similarities, Grazer said. The character in The Perfect Kill “embodies many of the same characteristics — the nobility, patriotism and sacrifice, doing what would be the right thing for the country.” Both men are on their own and have to make the call on pulling the trigger. “It involves the process of using intelligence to be at the right place at the right time and the mastery of executing the plan while also protecting yourself.”
Grazer and Reid spent several days with Baer, delving into the subject matter. Imagine TV, of course, is behind one of the top franchises that features a hero protecting the U.S.: drama 24. The company is currently developing a second limited series installment that may not involve its signature lead Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland.
“I’ve learned from my time at Fox that when Brian Grazer is passionate about an idea, the end result is usually a hit television show,” said Fox 21 TV Studios president Bert Salke. “Elwood is a phenomenal writer and Robert Baer’s book is incredibly timely and compelling.”
As American Sniper continues to break boxoffice records, the Weinstein Company announced this week that it has acquired TV rights to U.S. Army sniper Nicholas Irving’s newly released autobiographical book The Reaper: Autobiography Of One Of The Deadliest Special Ops Snipers to develop it as a five-part miniseries.
Imagine TV is behind one of the biggest breakouts this season, midseason Fox drama Empire, which was renewed for a second season only two episodes into its freshman run.
Elwood is repped by WME and attorney David Colden.