EXCLUSIVE: The Gotham Group has secured film and television rights to the memoir The Jihadi Hunter: How One Father Saved His Radicalized Son from the Battlezone of ISIS by Dimitri Bontinck. The book chronicles the true story of Bontinck, a former Belgian soldier, whose then 18-year-old son Jejoen became a radical Islamic and fled to Syria to join ISIS.
After Belgian authorities were unable to find his son, Bontinck risked his own life and traveled to the battlefields of Syria where he was captured and tortured before being released and reunited with Jejoen. Following the retrieval of his son, Bontinck continues to lead several dangerous and secretive missions to rescue other Westerners who had become trapped in ISIS’ brutal Islamic caliphate.
The idea for the book sold last month to St. Martin’s Press from an eight-page proposal and will be published in the fall of next year. The Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Jeremy Bell will produce along with Scott Waxman of the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency.
In addition to Bontinck’s story, Gotham and Waxman Leavell have teamed on fantasy sports book The Big Game. TriStar Pictures grabbed the film rights to this project and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way is on board to produce alongside Gotham.