Few filmmakers have had more wide-ranging careers than Doug Liman. The director best known for helming The Bourne Identity, Swingers, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith has jumped between movies both big (Jumper, Edge of Tomorrow) and small (Go, The Wall) at a frequent clip, and his misses can be as notable as his hits. Following the critical success of American Made, Liman had a bit of a down year last year with Locked Down and Chaos Walking, but it looks as though the filmmaker isn’t hurting for work. He has been attached to call the shots on an extraordinarily ambitious outer space-shot Space X project for a couple of years now, and before that movie launches into the stratosphere, Liman will helm Rise and Kill First, a limited series based on a chapter in Ronen Bergman‘s acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name.
As Variety reports, Liman‘s Rise and Kill First will detail how Israel’s national intelligence agency, Mossad, reached out to Otto Skorzney, a former Nazi Waffen SS lieutenant colonel and a favorite of Hitler’s, in a moment of desperation to take down an existential threat to Israel’s existence. The story will also unfold against the backdrop of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser’s plan to secretly hire a team of former Nazi scientists to build a momentous missile program that could possibly destroy Israel. While Israel does many things in their power to try to bring down the threat, including espionage and a series of kidnappings and assassinations, they don’t eliminate the danger that plagues them, which results in a young Mossad turning toward Hitler’s go-to man for covert missions in a Hail Mary pass.
Produced by Story Syndicate, which was recently behind a few notable documentaries, including I’ll Be Gone in the Dark and Britney vs. Spears, will oversee this new mini-series, under the leadership of Dan Cogan and Liz Garbus, as well as Abot Hameiri. Additionally, Liman will also produce alongside David Bartis. Cogan and Garbus described this story as “one of the strangest, most surprising, and dramatic true stories” that they’ve encountered in “some time,” and they call it “an extraordinary spy-thriller and character drama,” which they’re excited to bring to the small screen courtesy of Liman and Guy Hameiri, the co-founder of the Fremantle company who assembled this direction-producing team.
Here’s what Liman described this upcoming project:
This is the ultimate spy story, replete with the original James Bond, a nascent Mossad and Israel facing its extinction.
Published in early 2018, Bergman‘s Rise and Kill First saw the New York Times journalist receiving the Economist Book of the Year and the 2018 National Jewish Book Award for this celebrated and notably comprehensive text. The author has also received the Sokolov Award, which is considered the highest Israeli honor in journalism. Certainly, based on the book’s acclaim, the material is here for a compelling and captivating stranger-than-fiction story. Given the high hopes of the production team, one hopes that Liman can pull it together and make something great.
There’s no release date set for Rise and Kill First, but production will probably begin later this year for a 2023 debut. We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments related to this project once they arrive.