EXCLUSIVE: London-based Ten10 Films and Amsterdam-based Le Boxeur Films have acquired exclusive life story rights to Frits Veerman, a whistleblower who claims to have been scapegoated and silenced for reporting one of the biggest thefts of nuclear secrets in history.
In an interview in the Financial Times Magazine this weekend, Veerman will tell the story of how he worked for a British/German/Dutch uranium enrichment program in the 1970s and was a colleague and friend of the nuclear spy, Dr AQ Khan – a man the CIA called “as dangerous as Osama Bin Laden”.
When Veerman discovered that Khan was a spy, he repeatedly reported Khan to the authorities but was ignored. This allowed Khan to escape with nuclear blue-prints and centrifuge parts stolen from his Amsterdam workplace. Khan went on to help build Pakistan’s nuclear bomb with the stolen data, and then sold the technology and know-how to North Korea and Iran. Veerman was fired, scapegoated and for decades harassed by security agencies to keep silent.
The story is being developed by Ten10 Films and Le Boxeur Films as a limited series titled The Man Who Stole The Bomb, written by Nadeem Rajwani and produced by Joris van Wijk (The Resistance Banker) for Le Boxeur and Tendeka Matatu (Tiger House) for Ten10.
Producer van Wijk commented: “We’re honoured that Frits has entrusted us with his remarkable story, I have had the privilege of getting to know him over the last six months, his relationship with Khan was one of a genuine friendship that was masterfully manipulated and spectacularly betrayed.”
“The simple truth is that, had the powers that be paid more attention to Frits Veerman the world would be a safer place today,” added Matatu. “The story of how Frits Veerman became implicated in the most audacious theft of nuclear secrets in history, is genuine, tragic and incredible – it has all the elements for a riveting spy series”
Whistleblower Veerman commented: “I am thrilled that my story will be part of The Man Who Stole The Bomb and have enormous confidence in its creative team. That Khan got away with his espionage was a colossal failure of the Netherlands and U.S. governments and their intelligence services – with horrible consequences. The series will show the general public what happened, to hopefully avoid it from happening again.”
Ten10 Films currently has TV projects in development with Fremantle and Sony Pictures Television, while neo-noir thriller Cold Harbour is due for release on Netflix in October.
Le Boxeur is newly set up by Van Wijk with a remit to develop and produce character driven series and features set against socially and politically relevant backgrounds.
Ten10 Films is represented by Steven Adams at Alta Global Media.
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