James Gray to Adapt Spy Thriller ‘I Am Pilgrim’

     April 16, 2018


James Gray is keeping busy. Last year saw the release of his adaptation of The Lost City of Z, and he recently wrapped his sci-fi film Ad Astra starring Brad Pitt. Now he’s turning his attention to his next project, which will likely be an adaptation of the spy novel I Am Pilgrim for MGM. According to Deadline, screenwriter Terry Hayes (Payback) has adapted his own novel. Here’s the official synopsis from Amazon:

A breakneck race against time…and an implacable enemy.


An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid.


A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square.


A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard.


Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan.


A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.


One path links them all, and only one man can make the journey.



Deadline elaborates on the plot saying, “Pilgrim is the code name for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed a secret U.S. espionage unit. Now in anonymous retirement, he is called upon to lend his expertise to an unusual investigation but ultimately is caught in a race against-time to save America from oblivion.”

Although the novel is billed as a spy thriller, the plot and Gray’s past work sound more in the vein of something like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy than something like Jason Bourne. That being said, Gray usually has a surprising approach to the films he makes, and I’m curious to see what he’ll do inside of the spy genre.

Ad Astra is currently set to hit theaters on January 11, 2019, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it hits limited release sometime in December for an Oscar run.


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