Mads Mikkelsen (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) and Armie Hammer (The Social Network) have been confirmed to star in writer-director Amma Asante’s (Belle) The Billion Dollar Spy, which HanWay Films will launch sales on at the AFM.
Based on the true story of how a Soviet engineer and his CIA handler risked their lives to help bring an end to the Cold War, the film was developed and produced by Walden Media and is produced by Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) and Greg Lessans through Weed Road Pictures.
The film is due to go into production 2021 in Eastern Europe.
CAA Media Finance and Endeavor Content will oversee the U.S sale. Walden Media’s President and CEO Frank Smith and Executive Vice President of Development and Production Naia Cucukov will executive-produce.
Here’s the film’s official synopsis: “Brad Reid (Hammer) is a fresh arrival at the Moscow station of the CIA when he’s approached by Soviet engineer Adolf Tolkachev (Mikkelsen). Ignoring the advice from his bosses that Tolkachev is an obvious KGB ‘dangle’, Reid develops a bond and unique friendship with the Russian, who seemingly only wants to help his family escape the corruption within the Soviet Union. Reid’s faith in Tolkachev is rewarded when he hands over a treasure trove of military secrets, obtained using classic Cold War spy craft. It earns Tolkachev the nickname ‘The Billion Dollar Spy’ and alters the balance of power between East and West. But their success in evading the KGB comes at great personal cost to both men, and their marriages to wives Tina and Natasha, all struggling with the daily paranoia of being caught. Then one day a shocking betrayal puts them all in grave danger…”
The Cold War story was researched and written by Pulitzer prize-winning American journalist David E. Hoffman, drawing on previously classified CIA documents and interviews with first-hand participants. It has been adapted for the screen by Benjamin August (Class Rank).
Mikkelsen is represented by Art Management and UTA, Hammer by WME, Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern, and Relevant. Asante is represented by CAA, United Agents, and Mosaic.