has acquired the global motion picture rights to Gerard de Villiers’ best-selling action-spy series S.A.S.
which it’s adapting into Malko,
a project that Michael Fassbender
will star and produce. Oscar nominated screenwriter Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle,
upcoming Top Gun: Maverick
) will write the screenplay.
With the deal, Lionsgate has secured the full rights to de Villier’s catalogue of best selling espionage thrillers, serialized through 200 books that have been translated into multiple languages and sold north of 120M copies worldwide. Lionsgate secured the film rights to the catalogue of S.A.S. based stories from Black Magic’s Lars Sylvest who developed the property with Gérard de Villiers and Thorsten Schumacher. The project will be produced together with Rocket Science.
Fassbender will play the super spy for hire Malko Linge, an Austrian nobleman and freelance CIA operative who spent his formative years in a special Nazi work camp for captured spies. Malko learned the intricate dark arts of tradecraft from the best. Now, an adult living in a reclaimed family manor fallen into disrepair, Malko becomes a spy for hire. He is the ultimate agent without an agency – a gentleman warrior without a country who works according to his own moral code and lives the only way a man who has grown up in the face of death can: with a wicked wit and a lust for all things in life, even the things that might kill him. The first film will largely be based upon de Villier’s book Checkpoint Charlie.
“We are enormously excited to be teaming with Greg Shapiro and Michael Fassbender as well as Lars Sylvest from Black Magic and Thorsten Schumacher from Rocket Science to develop Malko,” said Drake. “This is a character with a tremendous 200 title library of amazing spy stories to draw from and we believe we have a world-class creative team in place with Michael and Eric Warren Singer as we move forward on this project.”
In addition to Fassbender, who is producing through his DMC Film production company, Malko producers include Black Magic’s Lars Sylvest, Kingsgate Films’ Greg Shapiro, and Rocket Science’s Thorsten Schumacher. Serving as executive producers are Singer, and Jason Clark, DMC’s Conor McCaughan. At Lionsgate, the project will be overseen by Senior Vice President of Production James Myers and Director of Development Brady Fujikawa.
Fassbender is a two-time Oscar Nominee for Steve Jobs and 12 Years a Slave. Alongside the development of projects, including Malko, through his production company DMC Films, Fassbender will begin production on David Sandberg’s action-comedy Kung Fury this summer.
Fassbender is represented by CAA, Troika, and Sloane Offer Weber & Dern. Singer is represented by Gochman Law Group. Shapiro is represented by Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. CAA Media Finance brokered the deal. Dan Freedman oversaw negotiations on behalf of Lionsgate.