Even before making last year’s fun comedy drama 50/50, Jonathan Levine has had plenty of producers trying to catch his attention like children who have just heard the tinny tones of the ice cream man's van. The latest to sit him down at the meeting table is McG, offering the chance to direct Dead Spy Running.
The adaptation of John Stock’s book (which, since it was optioned in 2008, has actually hit shelves) has been through a few possible directors. McG himself first flirted with the idea, and then hired Stephen Gaghan to take a crack at the script, which blossomed into a shot at the megaphone. But Gaghan has apparently run into scheduling issues and now the job, according to Twitch, is Levine’s if he wants it.
Aiming to blend Jason Bourne-style action with John Le Carre- level dry wit and sophistication, Stock’s book finds MI9 agent Daniel Marchant languishing in inactive status thanks to American suspicions and trouble with his father. He decides to run the London marathon, but even that seemingly risk-light proposition (aside from stiches, twisted ankles and being crushed by someone falling dressed as a giant penguin, we suppose) comes fraught with danger from international terrorists.
If he does sign on, it’ll be another genre leap for the director, who has already brought us horror (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane), coming of age slacker comedy drama (The Wackness), and, next year, zombie romance (Warm Bodies). He’s also attached to a number of possible projects, including Jamaica, which would see him reunite with 50/50 collaborators Will Reiser and Seth Rogen, crime pic Little Girl Lost and dystopian novel adaptation Legend.