EXCLUSIVE: MGM has made a pre-emptive deal for an untitled spec script by British scribe Matthew Orton about the team that hunted down and captured Adolf Eichmann, one of the major architects of the Holocaust. Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Automatik will produce, and Matt Charman will executive produce.
It was Eichmann who organized the transport of Jews from countries all over Europe to concentration camps where millions were murdered. After the war, he fled to his home country of Austria and then moved to Argentina. The Israeli intelligence agency Mossad uncovered the whereabouts of the infamous Nazi in 1960, and teams of Mossad and Shin Bet agents staged a raid to capture the war criminal and brought him to Israel to face crimes against humanity and the Jewish people. He was sentenced to hang and was executed in 1962, unrepentant all the way to the grave. The thriller spec is closer to the tone of Argo than Munich in creating thriller stakes in the manhunt for one of the most diabolical war criminals of the 20th century.
MGM will fast track this and will align with a distributor at an appropriate time. MGM has factored large in the fall season, opening the 007 film Spectre with Sony Pictures and shortly opening Creed, the spinoff of the Rocky series that Warner Bros and News Line open Thanksgiving week with Ryan Coogler directing Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. Upcoming films include the remakes of Ben-Hur and The Magnificent Seven.
Writer Orton is out of the UK, majored in history at Oxford, and his spec CLEAN made the 2014 Brit List. He is mentored by Bridge Of Spies scribe Matt Charman, who he met via the Guiding Lights program. Orton is repped by Emily Hickman at The Agency and managed by Jeffrey Silver at Grandview.