EXCLUSIVE: Middleton Media Group has optioned rights to Breaking Cover, a biography by former CIA officer Michele Rigby Assad, with an eye on making a feature film about her and her husband Joseph. Michael Russell Gunn (The Newsroom, The Virginian), currently a supervising producer on Showtime’s Billions, is adapting the screenplay.
Rigby Assad’s book, titled Breaking Cover: My Secret Life in the CIA and What It Taught Me about What’s Worth Fighting For, was published in February by Tyndale Momentum. It tells the true story of the couple, who were newlyweds training to become undercover agents for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations when 9/11 occurred, and they found themselves hunting terrorists and managing a marriage in the world’s most unforgiving places. The film will focus on the true humanitarian mission the pair hatched and executed in which hundreds of refugees were rescued from the clutches of ISIS.
The story reveals the sacrifice amidst ruthless attacks and seemingly unconquerable challenges, and how the world’s most sinister enemy helped Rigby Assad uncover what matters most.
Middleton’s John Powers Middleton (The Disaster Artist, Manchester by the Sea, the LEGO Movie franchise) and Alex Foster (Sleepless) are producing. Adam Ciralsky and P3 Media will executive produce with Luke Franek.
“Breaking Cover reveals a layer of the world that we don’t ordinarily get to see, and Michele has harnessed her vast political knowledge, understanding of the region, and natural gifts as a storyteller to craft a memoir that feels like a thriller,” said Middleton and Foster. “We’re excited to be partnering with the talented Michael Russell Gunn on the script and can’t wait to bring this incredible true story to audiences everywhere.”
The film joins a Middleton slate that includes A Most Dangerous Man at Studio 8, Seth Gordon’s inspirational drama Life in Rewind and a biopic on computer pioneer Grace Hopper.
Gunn’s 2015 Black List script The Virginian is set up at New Line with Jason Dean Hall attached to direct. His Cold War-era thriller Price of Liberty is in development with Participant Media and Tribeca Film. He is repped by WME and Artists First Management.