As previously reported, director Rupert Sanders' next gig behind the camera will be an adaptation of Frederick Forsyth's fourteenth novel The Kill List. The project now has a screenwriter, in the reliable form of Lem Dobbs.
Not to be confused with Ben Wheatley's brutal existential horror, Forsyth's Kill List was published just last month. The title refers to the US government's most wanted terrorists, and at the top of this version is Zulfiqar Ali Shah (AKA The Preacher). He's a "cyber-evangelist" exhorting radicalised Muslims to murder. On his trail is US marine Kit Carson (AKA The Tracker), for whom the vendetta is personal as well as professional. Cue much in the way of technological military savvy and globe-trotting action.
Forsyth, of course, is the veteran thriller writer behind the likes of The Day Of The Jackal and The Fourth Protocol (that was his last novel to be filmed, with Michael Caine and Pierce Brosnan back in 1987). Dobbs, meanwhile, wrote Dark City, The Company You Keep, and the upcoming Gotti biopic, and has thrice collaborated with Steven Soderbergh on Kafka, The Limey and Haywire.
Sanders, whose last film was Snow White & The Huntsman, says: "Day Of The Jackal, Odessa File and The Dogs Of War are three of the finest works of modern espionage. It is an incredible privilege to work from Forsyth’s new novel. It is a thrilling read and frighteningly accurate. It immerses us in the shadowy worlds of terrorists, spies, private contractors, US and UK Special Forces. It spans an epic, international world and delves deep into the psychology of its two main characters. Forsyth’s depth of research and authenticity creates... a nightmare scenario that is all too possible."
Produced by Nick Weschler and Steve Schwartz (Ridley Scott's The Counsellor), The Kill List will next be looking for its cast. In the meantime, Forsyth's novel is published in the UK by Bantam Press.