Paul Haggis in Talks to Pen Spy Film Based on Author Daniel Silva’s Character Gabriel Allon

     June 24, 2011


Two-time Oscar-winner Paul Haggis (Crash) is in talks to script a spy film for Universal based on Daniel Silva’s popular character, Gabriel Allon. While possible, it’s unclear whether or not the writer/director would also helm the film given that the project is still in the very early stages of development. For those unfamiliar with the character (a.k.a myself just 30 minutes ago), Allon has appeared in ten of Silva’s novels and is described as a fortysomething Mossad agent who restores art as part of his “quiet job” and covertly investigates terrorist activities as part of his “slightly less quiet job.”

24 Frames reports that the exact details of Haggis’ script are unknown but that Universal is hoping to turn the property into a franchise (surprise, surprise). Former NBC head Jeff Zucker will produce the pic which joins the Bourne franchise as the second spy property in active development at the studio. For a taste of what could be coming in Haggis’ script, hit the jump for a synopsis of Gabriel Allon’s first appearance, the Daniel Silva novel The Kill Artist.

the-kill-artist-book-cover-imageHere’s a synopsis for Daniel Silva’s The Kill Artist [from Amazon]:

The tragedy of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and despair of its resolution provide the backdrop for Silva’s (The Unlikely Spy) heart-stopping, complex yarn of international terrorism and intrigue. Israeli master spy Ari Shamron sets an intricate plot in motion to lure deadly Palestinian assassin Tariq al-Hourani into his net. Art restorer Gabriel Allon, a former Israeli agent whose family was killed by Tariq, is lured back into the fray by Shamron and teamed with Jacqueline Delacroix, a French supermodel/Israeli secret agent whose grandparents died in the Holocaust. Gabriel sets up in London to monitor Yusef, Tariq’s fellow terrorist and confidant. Jacqueline is assigned to seduce him in hopes of intercepting Tariq, who is devising a plan to kill Israel’s prime minister during peace talks with Arafat in New YorkDand he has similar plans for Gabriel.

The tortuous plot leading the various parties to the showdown in Manhattan is a thrilling roller-coaster ride, keeping readers guessing until the mind-bending conclusion. Sensitive to both sides of the conflict, the narrative manages to walk a political tightrope while examining the motivations of Palestinians and Israelis alike. The duplicity and secret financial juggling to keep government hands clean is personified in publishing mogul Benjamin Stone, who backs the Israeli efforts. He is just one of many larger-than-life characters (both real and invented) thrown into the mixDArafat himself has a tense encounter with Tariq that underscores the volatility of terrorist loyalty. An array of global locales adds to the complexity and authenticity of the dizzying, cinematic plot.

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