Jonathan Levine in Talks to Direct DEAD SPY RUNNING for McG

     March 12, 2012

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When we spoke with This Means War director/producer McG last month, he mentioned Dead Spy Running, a spy project he developed with Stephen Gaghan (Syriana).  McG hoped Gaghan could direct, but suggested there could be a scheduling issue.  If Gaghan can’t find the time, Twitch hears McG found a promising replacement in Jonathan Levine, now in negotiations to direct.  Levine’s resume—50/50, The Wackness, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane—does not necessarily prepare him for a spy thriller.  But Levine crafted one of the finest films of 2011 in 50/50, and his next project is the high-concept zombie genre piece Warm Bodies.  Now is a great time to get into business with an up-and-coming director who has demonstrated his competency with a variety of material.

McG described Dead Spy Running as a spy story for this generation, “the Social Network age.”  Hit the jump for his full pitch.

The whole of McG’s comments:

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“Dead Spy Running we’re trying to get made out of Warner Bros. with Gaghan.  Gaghan’s writing it, and we’re trying to get Gaghan to direct it.  But he’s got scheduling stuff going on, and we have to get the script to a place where we’re ultimately going to make it, get the budget right.  Listen, now more than ever it’s really tough to get a film properly greenlit and off the ground.  There are a million ways for a film to fall apart, and very few for it to come together.  But that is a spy story for this generation.  It’s of the Social Network age.  Imagine those kids in Zuckerberg’s room in The Social Network.  One of them goes on to be a spy and uses his acumen of today’s world: DJ culture, Steve Jobs, the Apple store.  Which I say with respect to Bond, Bourne, and Hunt, they don’t really know that world.  But there’s a whole generation of kids that do.  And what if a spy came from that place?  Gaghan knows a lot about that world, so I’m hoping to get that done.  That’s a huge priority.”

For more on all things Levine, check out our interview with the director on the 50/50 circuit.

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