EXCLUSIVE: The Reaper has landed at NBC. I’ve learned that the network has given a production order to a six-hour miniseries from the Weinstein Co. based on the recently released book The Reaper: Autobiography Of One Of The Deadliest Special Ops Snipers by Nicholas Irving, the U.S. Army 3rd Ranger Battalion’s deadliest sniper.
I hear NBC went aggressively after the project, announced by the Weinstein Co. a month ago, and bought it preemptively. A writer for the mini is expected to be named soon.
The Weinstein Co. acquired the rights to Irving’s memoir less than a week after it was published by St. Martin’s Press with the intention to adapt it as a miniseries to begin production in the summer. The Reaper comes on the heels of the blockbuster success of the Bradley Cooper starrer American Sniper, also an adaptation of the memoir of one of American’s most decorated snipers.
Irving, the first African-American to serve as a sniper in his battalion, became known as “The Reaper” by the end of his active service. During a four-month period in mid-2009, Irving tallied an astounding 33 kills as a master sniper, in addition to setting records for enemy kills on a single deployment. His reputation as one of the great military snipers ever is such that he actually has an AR-15 rifle named after him. In his book, Irving gives an inside look at what those in the special operations community go through.
“Nick Irving’s true bravery and heroism will make for some of the most riveting television ever seen and inspire patriotism in anyone who experiences it,” TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein said at the time of the book acquisition announcement.
The company’s creative executive Lauren O’Connor and Mark Velez, SVP Scripted TV, will oversee production for TWC. Brendan Deneen and Marc Resnick, Irving’s editor at St. Martin’s, are expected to executive produce for Macmillan Entertainment. The deal was negotiated by Sarah Sobel, EVP Business & Legal Affairs, for TWC with Deneen at Macmillan.
NBC has been active during the current miniseries/limited series renaissance with Rosemary’s Baby, The Slap and the upcoming Bible followup, A.D.