Universal has optioned the rights to Tamer Elnoury and Kevin Maurer’s book American Radical: Inside the World of an Undercover Muslim FBI Agent which Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail will direct and produce and his Emmy-winning star Rami Malek will headline. The project is in development and a search for a writer underway. Mr. Robot is produced by Uni’s sister cable network USA Networks.
Elnoury is a longtime undercover agent and active Muslim who joined the elite counter-terrorism unit after Sept. 11. In his book, he reveals his experience about infiltrating and bringing down a terror cell stateside, running up against the clock to foil them, with worn techniques which still entail listening, recording, and proving terrorist intent.
Esmail and Chad Hamilton will produce for Esmail Corp. and Anonymous Content, respectively, alongside Malek. The three previously collaborated on USA’s Emmy and Golden-Globe winning Mr. Robot.
EVP of Production Mark Sourian and Creative Executive Lexi Barta will oversee American Radical for Universal.
Next up for Malek is the remake of Papillon on Aug. 24 which Bleecker Street is releasing, as well as Nov. 2’s Bohemian Rhapsody in which he plays Freddie Mercury. At CinemaCon, Malek shared with exhibitors how he passionately prepared for the part of Mercury.
Esmail is currently busy on the Universal Cable Productions/Amazon half-hour drama series Homecoming starring Julia Roberts, Bobby Cannavale, Stephan James, Alex Karpovsky and Shea Whigham. Esmail is directing and executive producing the show which Amazon gave a two season pick-up to. Following Homecoming, Esmail will return to Mr. Robot season 4.
Esmail is represented by CAA, Anonymous Content and McKuin Frankel Whitehead LLP; Malek is represented by WME, Brillstein Entertainment and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern; the memoir was represented by WME.