Paul Haggis In Talks With Universal For Spy Film Franchise

edited June 2011 in News Posts: 886
http://thefilmstage.com/2011/06/25/paul-haggis-in-talks-with-universal-for-spy-film-franchise/?utm_source=wordtwit&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=wordtwit

After his Russell Crowe actioner The Next Three Days somewhat underperformed at the box office late last year, Paul Haggis seems to be mostly sticking to writing at the moment, with one script for Michael Mann having been completed, in addition to a remake of a Spanish film being in the pipeline (although he may also direct). 24 Frames says that he’s in talks for another screenwriting project at Universal, one that would take him into the world of espionage.

That movie will be a film adaptation of the Gabriel Allon series of books, which have been penned by author Daniel Silva. The character of Allon is a former Mossad agent who “avenged the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics earlier in his career,” but has retired to a life of art restoration. He’s still active, with him being asked to help out with the occasional assignment, many of which deal with “terrorists with ties to radical Islamic groups.”

The development of the project is still very early, and therefore we don’t yet know about Haggis directing in addition to writing — that is, if a deal even goes through. The plan on Universal’s part is to turn this into a franchise, a decision that’s said to be partially influenced by the success of the Bourne series, one that they will try to keep fresh by semi-rebooting it with Jeremy Renner in the lead. The main role is described as being a “meaty” one for an actor in their late 30′s or early 40′s, but no potential candidates have been mentioned as of now.

There are currently ten books in the series, with an eleventh to be published next month — they have plenty of room to make a franchise in a different medium. It hasn’t been revealed what this would be based off of, but there’s speculation that it could be an adaptation of the first novel in the series, The Kill Artist, or a combination of several installments. I could see them making the first book the main basis of the first movie – to set up the character and his history – while also taking a plotline from a later novel, in an attempt to mix things up a bit.

It’s a shame that something like this – a book series with a potentially interesting lead who goes on politically-tinged adventures – would get the movie treatment by Paul Haggis. While I don’t think that he’s the stunningly bad screenwriter that some others make him out to be, I feel that his work is somewhat lacking in the storytelling and (ahem) subtlety department. Just like with the Michael Mann film, his involvement in anything immediately makes me less interested in that project. If he can just stick strictly to the novels – which I admittedly have not read and thus have no knowledge of – then there might be some more hope to have in this whole thing.

Is Paul Haggis someone you want to adapt this series? Have you read any of the books, and do you think they could work as films?

Comments

  • Posts: 1,894
    I think the thing that most people will care about here is that if Haggis is off developing the Daniel Silva project, then he will be too busy to work on another Bond film.
  • Posts: 2,464
    what will be the name of the movies?i doubt this will be succes
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,289
    what will be the name of the movies?
    Maybe one of the novels from the "Gabriel Allon" series.
    i doubt this will be succes
    A bit early to say that. Let's see what happens.
  • Posts: 212
    The premise sounds interesting enough. It might have a chance as I'm sure they'll try as much as possible with the marketing of it to cash in on the fact that it's from one of the creative minds behind Casino Royale, which will probably give it a leg up on some of the other attempted spy franchises that we've seen come and go in recent years.
  • NicNacNicNac Administrator, Moderator
    Posts: 7,378
    I'm surprised by the lack of film series featuring action heroes as recurring characters in films. We have had (discounting 007) Die Hard, MI, Bourne, Indiana Jones etc. They are usually good for 3 or 4 films so when you look at the number of book series being written about tough action heroes you have to wonder why they aren't clammering to bring more of these characters to the big screen.
  • Posts: 7,639
    Too bad as I actually like theSilva series and Hack boy gets near it. It will actually be less as the books is now a sure garantee.
  • Posts: 1,894
    Too bad as I actually like theSilva series and Hack boy gets near it. It will actually be less as the books is now a sure garantee.
    Funny that people call him "hack boy" - I remember when it was announced that he would be script doctor on CASINO ROYALE and everyone credited him with "writing all the good bits".
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    edited June 2011 Posts: 13,289
    Too bad as I actually like theSilva series and Hack boy gets near it. It will actually be less as the books is now a sure garantee.
    Funny that people call him "hack boy" - I remember when it was announced that he would be script doctor on CASINO ROYALE and everyone credited him with "writing all the good bits".
    And then we found out he stuck Vesper in the sinking house.
  • Posts: 1,856
    Call the tower of London, we got someone to go through trators gate
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited June 2011 Posts: 3,733
    http://gabrielallon.wikia.com/wiki/Gabriel_Allon_Wiki

    11 Books.

    I haven't read the books but the chacter is 50 year old spy born/grow up in Israel and grow up in Germany also. Because the novels also focus on the 24 subject and from the information of above from a none American look i doubt of somebody like Haggis should write or in specialy should direct all of them. Paul Haggis delieverd difrent results. A 24 drama with Crash (Not seen yet, but get the idea it be a very hard movie.), a disapointed for a part of CR (Haggis don't know the difrence between Bond and other movies) and very good QOS. I don't say no, but also not yes.

    A quike look to the covers/titles of the novels mabey it be intresting of Ron Howard can make a not longer then 135 minutes movie (les slow then his other movies. No Hans Zimmer.) from 10th novel The Rembrandt Affair who wil bring the chacter to Amsterdam- The Netherlands, France and Argentina. The only problem i have with it is that the story focus on a old treasure stolen by bad people in ww2. The 11th Portrait of a Spy plot looks moost intresting to me for A English directer.

    The first actor i have in mind be: Clive Owen because he looks a litle bit on the writer of the novels but he is English and 47 years old.

    Jeremy Northam. 50 Years old. But English.

    Also the other sugestions are younger then 50:

    Oscar Isaac. Rejected for making a change to playing Jason Bourne. The quistion be how much Israel orgins he be imdb wrote. Because he grow up in America. Con: 31 years old. Insteed of discuss Paul Haggis, it earlier be the quision or Universal should be the one making this. Remours said Universal don't think it is time for A middle east spy.

    From this list http://www.imdb.com/search/name?birth_place=Jerusalem, Israel

    Jonah Lotan. 38 years old. Born in Israel but moved to America and a big con he is already seen in 24 season 5. Whyle he look very spying in some pictures of ''Pan Am'' you mabey don't see a difrence with the others.

    Dan Marshall. 37 Years old. Born in Israel. Martial arts training and Kung Fu. Get a cameo in Martin Campbell Edge of Darkness.

    Noam Murro, the directer of Die Hard 5 can be consider to direct also.
    Noam Murro http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1729171/

  • Posts: 1,894
    And then we found out he stuck Vesper in the sinking house.
    I honestly don't mind the sinking house scene and don't really see the problem with it. I get that people wanted Vesper's death to reflect the one in the book, but I can see that the film was going for something different - in the book, Vesper killed herself out of guilt over her betrayal; in the film, she killed herself because she knew that Bond could destroy Quantum, but so long as she was alive, they could manipulate him. By taking her own life, she put Bond in a position where Quantum could never touch him. And I don't think that would be conveyed in a scene where she overdosed on sleeping pills.
  • Posts: 7,639
    This thread is about Hackboy destroying a yet unfilmed series. The reason I take offence is because I have read the books and really enjoyed them. That is not something I can say of the works of Haggis of what I have seen consiously.
    And the sinking house scene changes CR from a great Bondmovie to just another good movie of the 007 franchise.
  • Sorry to resurrect this thread but i was kind of shocked to see some of the comments here in regards to Haggis.

    It's surprising as he seems to have got himself something of a bad rep in the fan community for writing QOS even though we know about all the writer's strike issues surrounding that script. Meanwhile it is undeniable that Haggis was the contributor to the great moments that we all love from CR.

    I mean just read his comments here: http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=36631

    So why the Haggis hate? Or am I behind the times and it's just fashionable to hate Haggis (as the whole of hollywood seems to)?
  • Posts: 7,639
    Crash is one of the worst movies I have ever had the NON-pleasure of seeing, pretentious and poor/lazy moviemaking with a terrible script behind it.

    Creator of Walker texas ranger says it all. %-(

  • edited October 2013 Posts: 4,264
    SaintMark wrote:
    Crash is one of the worst movies I have ever had the NON-pleasure of seeing, pretentious and poor/lazy moviemaking with a terrible script behind it.

    Creator of Walker texas ranger says it all. %-(

    I couldn't disagree with you more. When I first watched Crash i thought the same thing - that it was pretentious and pessimistic nonsense and stopped watching after half an hour.

    However, I recently watched the whole thing from start to finish and while I can't say I loved all or any of the characters or rooted for anyone in it I still found everything the film had to say every interesting. For a film to have your attention you don't necessarily need agree with it. Once finishing Crash, I loved it, as much as it is pessimistic it's equally optimistic. It's a great film about the social, cultural and racial divide in modern society. I feel the hate it has earned in recent years was really unnecessary and its only due to it's Oscar win. Winning the Oscar was the worst thing that happened to Haggis in many ways.

    Million Dollar Baby is also a great film thats subversive of the Boxing genre and is a finely written piece - all the stuff with Clint and Freeman's characters is so well done.

    I also recently watched The Next Three Days as well and while it is a little unevenly paced its still a rather good character-driven thriller even if it is a little po-faced and serious.

    Besides all of this, Haggis's contribution to the Bond series has been great. He is the man who made Bond a 'character' in the CR script. Part of me wishes he had directed Casino Royale.
  • Posts: 7,639
    I am not so sure who did what in the script of CR when looking at W&P and H, people tend to give Haggis the credit of which I am not so sure. The director of CR gets a lot of credit from me.
    When I look at QoS I see how poor the script is really, even DC has admitted that they were working on the script themselves during the movie as it was not finished and did not work.
    Haggis is one hack I hope they do not return to.
  • SaintMark wrote:
    I am not so sure who did what in the script of CR when looking at W&P and H, people tend to give Haggis the credit of which I am not so sure. The director of CR gets a lot of credit from me.
    When I look at QoS I see how poor the script is really, even DC has admitted that they were working on the script themselves during the movie as it was not finished and did not work.
    Haggis is one hack I hope they do not return to.

    It's clear to me what Haggis contributed to the script. Read the interviews that are out there for instance: http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=36631

    Also listen to the DVD commentary tracks on the CR Deluxe Edition where Haggis talks about the scenes he wrote for the film.

    Listen to him analysis the train scene he wrote here at around the 4min mark:


    Even Craig admitted that only once Haggis wrote his draft did he become interested. Haggis did all the character-y stuff in the film. I think he was the one behind the b&w opening, Purvis and Wade have said that their script started in Montenegro with Bond first appearing as a 'backpacker'. Haggis's work mostly concerned the Vesper stuff and giving Bond's character that darker more vulnerable edge. He was also the one who wrote the final scene with Mr. White when Bond get's to say the line.

    You are right, the director has a lot to do with this and Campbell proved with deft ability he knows how a proper Bond film is made with CR. However I do disagree with you and I for one would love Haggis to come back to do another Bond and possibly direct one in the future. He is slightly condescending and smarmy in interviews but his work speaks for itself in my opinion.
  • edited October 2013 Posts: 7,639
    So he is to blame for the "finger" remark, that alone renders him a hack. ;)

    And for me the relationship with Vesper is just not that well written, he should have used more from the CR Fleming source. And at the end the actioncop out with the sinking house and her in the lift still annoys me to this day. A really poor choice imho.
  • edited October 2013 Posts: 4,264
    SaintMark wrote:
    So he is to blame for the "finger" remark, that alone renders him a hack. ;)

    And for me the relationship with Vesper is just not that well written, he should have used more from the CR Fleming source. And at the end the actioncop out with the sinking house and her in the lift still annoys me to this day. A really poor choice imho.

    The finger remark is a little off I'll let you have that.

    The film Vesper was a marked improvement on Fleming's Vesper. For all the great outlandish plots Fleming conceived he wasn't the greatest writer when it came to creating female characters. They were often very weak and one-dimensional figures.

    The film Vesper is strong and smart and is a properly rounded character. She has a certain bravado about her but once she enters Bond's rather violent world it begins to take it's toll on her and it is only Vesper (not Mathis or even M) who can see through Bond's facade or his armour and see him for what he is - a very vulnerable man not the cold-hearted killer.

    Once Vesper calls him out there is no going back - their relationship is solidified. Of course he loves her because no one understands him quite like her. It makes her betrayal all the more significant as well.

    Fleming's Vesper was enigmatic but she far from a foil for Bond.

    As for the finale, i think it's significant that the relationship ends there in the house in Venice, it is the city of love after all and the crumpling house is a metaphor for their relationship. It's much more inherently dramatic for Bond to see her in the act of betraying him and then saying that great line "Allow me" in regards to killing Vesper as it cements his growth from merely being James Bond to becoming 007. Plus her death is excellently done as it's very haunting and evocative.

    Cr was a well-written film and Haggis nailed it. Back in 2005 when he was hired he was the hottest writer working in Hollywood, EON were lucky he was interested.
  • Posts: 12,198
    Certainly sounds like it has potential, and would most likely go see it depending on what we learn if a film is to be made? As for Haggis? Well i would imagine he would leave the Bond world for it as he would just have Spy burnout i would imagine?
  • Posts: 7,639
    I am sorry I do prefer Flemings portreyal of females better than anything the two scripts that Haggis was involved with.
    And when I read CR I do feel that Vesper Lynd in the overal scheme of Fleming plays a far lesser part than CR the movie made us believe. She was just somebody who betrayed him personaly in the Fleming novel and that stung him more than the episode of love. In the movie we are led to believe she was this great love, she was a passing ship no more.
Sign In or Register to comment.