Peter Berg Traps M.I.C.E.

For a new spy drama pilot

While some filmmakers are just beginning their journeys into TV, Peter Berg is a veteran who got his start acting there and returned later to craft the excellent Friday Night Lights and the recent Prime Suspect reboot, among others. Despite a busy film schedule, He’s looking to keep his hand in, developing spy drama M.I.C.E for US network NBC.

The title has nothing to do with rodents (though from the sounds of it, rats might be involved somehow), but instead adapts Israeli drama Gordin Cell, revolving around a family whose son is a decorated air force officer. He learns that his parents, who emigrated from Russia, used to be spies and when their handler returns, they’re pressured to get their son into the spying game. Forced to choose between country and family loyalty, he faces the toughest challenge of his life. And that acronym? It stands for Money, Ideology, Coercion and Ego.

Though the original show was based in Israel, Berg plans to switch the location to America while maintaining the Russian angle. “There are still real issues between the U.S. and Russia — they’re spying on us, we’re spying on them,” he says in a statement picked up by Deadline.

Keshet Media Group, which also produced Prisoners Of War, the source fodder for Homeland, is backing the new show, and original series developers Ron Lesham and Amit Cohen will be involved. “I was instantly mesmerized by it,” Berg says of Gordin Cell. “I thought it was really smart, widely original, and it worked as a complex family drama and a very authentic, high-stakes espionage thriller.”

Unusually for him, he’s going to be involved throughout the entire first season (as opposed to, say, Friday Night Lights, where he directed and oversaw the pilot, then stepped away to let others run the show). Assuming the pilot gets the thumbs up, we can expect to see the show sometime next year.

Film-wise, Berg is currently tooling up to shoot true-life Navy SEAL drama Lone Survivo**r**, starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster.