Academy Award-nominated director Hany Abu-Assad is set to direct the film adaptation of The Good Spy, the 2014 biography about CIA operative Robert Ames written by Kai Bird.
The acclaimed 2014 book is an hour-by-hour account of the bombing at the US Embassy in Beirut that occurred in 1983. The biography gives a look at Robert Ames, a CIA operative that lost his life in the attack. In the aftermath of his death, Ames became an icon and symbol of what a “good” should be, someone who respected the customs, culture, and history of the vast, diverse region that he lived in and someone who wanted nothing more to bring peace. As the official description says, “He was America’s top intelligence officer for the Middle East, and he desperately wanted to bring peace to the region, even if it meant befriending the ‘enemy.’” The adapted script is being written by Scott Frazier, whose previous writing credits include xXx: Return of Xander Cage from 2017 and the 2013 thriller The Numbers Station which starred John Cusack and Malin Akerman. Frazier‘s future projects that have been announced include two other adaptations, one for the film project based on the video game series Gears of War and the other being Mistborn: The Final Empire written by Brandon Sanderson.
Abu-Assad has been nominated for two Academy Awards for ‘Best Foreign Film’ for his 2005 film Paradise Now about two Palestinian men preparing for a suicide attack in Tel Aviv, and Omar from 2013 which is a tragic love story set in occupied Palestine. He also won the Jury Prize in the competition of Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival for Omar. Other previous credits include The Mountain Between Us, starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba for 20th Century Fox. “When Robert Ames moved deeper into the life of Ali Hasan Salameh, a prominent PLO member, he realizes that not only is he crossing the line between the CIA and being involved in his enemy’s cause, but the friendship between the two men leads to a certain threat to the establishment of both sides,” said Abu-Assad. “These facts are a perfect fertile soil for a character-driven drama imbedded in a political thriller.”
Along with writing the film, Frazier will also serve as an executive producer alongside Laurie MacDonald and Walter Parkes. Academy Award winner Evan Hayes (Free Solo, Everest) will produce the film via his ACE (Anomaly Content & Entertainment) production company. “We have always endeavored to make an elevated and entertaining spy thriller, but we also want to make the most honest, authentic film possible, and Hany is the perfect filmmaker to help us achieve just that. I’m thrilled to embark on this project with Hany, Scott, and the team at Rocket Science & CAA,” said Hayes. Bird will act as a consultant on the project. Rocket Science is financing the film and will co-represent worldwide sales with CAA Media Finance. “Robert Ames’ extraordinary legacy has only grown in recent times – his example of fundamental human decency are more important than ever. To have his story told by such an amazing filmmaker as Hany Abu Assad will make it truly significant,” said Rocket Science’s Managing Director, Thorsten Schumacher.
The Good Spy does not have a release date or release window currently announced.