NBC has put in development Sneakers, a hacker drama based on the 1992 movie starring Robert Redford, from former The Mentalist executive producer Tom Szentgyorgyi, husband/wife producing duo Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, and Universal TV. Szentgyorgyi, who is under an overall deal at Uni TV, will pen the series adaptation. Parkes and MacDonald, who have had a first-look deal at Uni TV, also will executive produce. They were approached by the studio to come on board because of their connection to the movie, which Parkes co-wrote.
The 1992 film, directed by Phil Alden Robinson and co-written by Robinson, Parkes, and Lawrence Lasker, centers on computer hacker Martin, played by Redford, who heads a group of specialists who test the security of various San Francisco companies. Martin is approached by two National Security Agency officers who ask him to steal a newly invented decoder. Soon Martin and his team discover that the black box can crack any encryption code, posing a huge threat if it lands in the wrong hands. The film also starred Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier and David Strathairn (watch a trailer below).
As part of his overall deal, Szentgyorgy has been working as a consulting producer on Bates Motel for the past two years. He spent six years on The Mentalist, joining in Season 2 as co-executive producer, getting elevated to exec producer in Season 3 and serving as day-to-day showrunner on the final seventh season. He is repped by WME.
The project is timely, with WikiLeaks making headlines as of late with its hacked documents and the latest massive cyber attacks today which blocked several major websites nationwide. NBC sibling USA has had success with the similarly themed Mr. Robot.
Sneakers joins several other broadcast series in development based on movies: The Italian Job at NBC, Enemy Of The State at ABC, S.W.A.T. at CBS, Behind Enemy Lines at Fox, and Lost Boys at the CW.
Parkes+MacDonald is repped by UTA.