EXCLUSIVE: Paul Giamatti and Jeff Daniels are joining Paul Rudd and Guy Pearce in Catcher Was A Spy, the Ben Lewin-directed and Robert Rodat-scripted drama that begins filming Monday in Prague, with shooting also in Boston. The film is fully financed and produced by PalmStar Media with PalmStar’s financial partner Windy Hill Pictures. It’s a PalmStar and Animus Films production, with Palmstar’s Kevin Frakes producing with Windy Hill’s Buddy Patrick, Jim Young, Tatiana Kelly and Michael Bederman.
Rudd plays Moe Berg, a professional baseball player, Ivy League graduate, and attorney who spoke nine languages. He played pro for 15 seasons, mostly as a backup catcher. But he’s best known for being a top-secret spy for the OSS who helped the U.S. win the race against Germany to build the atomic bomb. The film focuses on Berg’s most important mission: infiltrating the circle of Werner Heisenberg, the enigmatic lead scientist for the Nazi atomic program. Berg’s efforts were overseen by the “Father of Central Intelligence,” O.S.S. Chief “Wild Bill” Donovan (Daniels), and he was also assisted by military specialist Furman (Pearce) and renowned physicist, Goudsmit (Giamatti).
Windy Hill Pictures is coming off Hacksaw Ridge, Collateral Beauty, Sing Street and Lee Daniels’ The Butler; PalmStar is coming off the M. Night Shyamalan hit Split, Sing Street, and John Wick: Chapter 2, which opens Friday. PalmStar and Windy Hill recently acquired the classic Paulo Coelho novel The Alchemist, which it is developing at TriStar.
Giamatti is represented by UTA and Kipperman Management; Daniels by ICM Partners. UTA Independent Film Group packaged it and is repping with PalmStar.