Spielberg Takes The (Matt) Helm

Spy novels may be his next target

Spielberg Takes The (Matt) Helm

by Owen Williams |
Published on

A series of blockbuster spy novels may be next on Steven Speilberg's hitlist, according to Variety. Donald Hamilton wrote 27 novels in his Matt Helm series, which Paramount clearly hope to spin into a Bourne-like new franchise.

Helm is actually an American "counter-agent" rather than a spy, although his job is still to neutralise enemy agents, so we're not entirely clear what the difference is. A bit more Jack Ryan than James Bond, we guess. He was played previously by Dean Martin in a series of sixties movies intended to spoof the Bond franchise (a bit like the James Coburn **Flint **films), but beyond using the books' titles they didn't bear much relation to their source material. Martin's version of Helm was a big influence on Austin Powers.

Paul Attanasio's latest incarnation of the script is apparently much more serious and updates the setting from the Cold War to the present day. The project floated around at Dreamworks for years, but they left it behind with ex-partners Paramount when the two companies parted ways.

Spielberg is definitely attached to produce, along with the ubiquitous Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, but it remains to be seen whether he'll be holding the megaphone.

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