Universal Pictures have forked out a huge seven figure sum to acquire the rights to Daniel Silva's seven book series of spy novels with the sixth book in the series, strangely the first to be adapted. The sixth book as will the movie, is titled The Messenger.Pierre Morel has been hired to direct the picture says Variety. He has just completed working on the 'my daughter is kidnapped, I must chase the globe to find her, thriller' starring Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace which should be released in the first or second quarter of 2008.
The Silva series began in 2000 with "The Kill Artist," and revolves around Gabriel Allon. A Mossad agent who was part of the covert team that avenged the murder of Israeli athletes at Munich Olympics, Allon retired and became an art restorer after his wife and child were killed by a terrorist.
The Messenger opens in London where a professor of Middle Eastern studies is suspected of having Al-Qaeda ties. The Israeli Secret Service is on his tail when he is killed in an accident. The laptop he was carrying proves that not only was he a recruiter, but that he also was involved in an intricate plot against the Vatican. Israeli agent Gabriel Allon is once again sent out into the field, trying to avert a tragedy in Rome. At the same time, the agency decides to find the source of terrorist funding through Saudi sources. The Israelis and the CIA concoct an intricate plot to discover the location of a Saudi terrorist financier. The plot involves a beautiful American art curator and an unknown Van Gogh painting.
The timing on this move seems to make sense. This week, potentially the last movie in the Bourne series will be released (certainly the last with Matt Damon) and that's been a big earner for Universal, so they are looking to fill their 'spy' gap with this new set of books. By the way that Bourne movie is getting some great reviews and is the movie you've just voted for as your most anticapted movie of this month. I wasn't a fan of the last movie, mainly because of Paul Greengrass' shaky camera work but maybe I'll give it another shot.