FX is moving forward with its adaptation of The Spook Who Sat By the Door – ordering a pilot for the project.
The project, which is exec produced by Lee Daniels, was written by Foundation and Raising Dion co-exec producer Leigh Dana Jackson and will be directed by The Twilight Zone and The First Purge director Gerard McMurray.
Produced by 20th Television and optioned through Lee Daniels’ Inclusion Fund, it comes almost 18 months after Deadline revealed the project was in development.
Based on Sam Greenlee’s spy novel, the series will look at the fictional story of Dan Freeman, the first African American CIA officer hired by the agency in the late 1960s.
The story chronicles the quest of Freeman, who was recruited as part of an affirmative-action program. After a very competitive selection process he trains in high-level combat and espionage. However, following this arduous training, this model recruit is rewarded with a post in the reprographics, aka photocopying, department, ‘left by the door’ as a token of the CIA’s ‘racial equality’.
The book was first published in 1969 and was turned into a feature film in 1973.
Daniels, Marc Velez, Leigh Dana Jackson and Gerard McMurray will all exec produce and Jackson will serve as showrunner.
“The Spook Who Sat By the Door was my dad’s favorite book,” said Daniels. “He’d be so proud that I’m doing this and even prouder that I’m doing this with Gerard and Dana—two bold and brilliant Black storytellers.”
Jackson is represented by WME, Gotham Group and Michael Schenkman at Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher, LLP. McMurray is represented by WME, Artists First, and Bianca Levin at Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, Inc.