Stephen Gaghan Adapting Dead Spy Running for McG

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The Hollywood Reporter have announced that Stephen Gaghan will write the screenplay for McG‘s Dead Spy Running. You can guess the salient details: adapted from a novel, first part of proposed trilogy, Bourne comparisons already in place, even a twist of LeCarre alleged.

Stephen Gaghan was nominated for an Oscar for his Syriana screenplay, and won one for Traffic. A perfect match, then, for McG (ahem) who not only took home best director and best picture Oscars for both of his Charlie’s Angels films but is also a Nobel Laureate for Contributions to Cinema…

Okay, maybe not. For some reason, what McG does is not taken very seriously by most people – at least judging by messageboards, blogs and overheard conversation in the queue at Taco Bell. Personally, though, I am a proud owner of all three of his films on DVD and await Terminator Salvation with great confidence that he’s going to deliver a smart, slick and exciting movie.

The opening sequence of Dead Spy Running puts the (rather uncomfortable) title in context. Our newly-minted hero spy is running in the London Marathon, apparently in pursuit of another runner who is much bomb laden. This later gives way to a globe trotting adventure in which the good spy tries to exonerate his father from some sort of blame, presumably to do with a bombman at the Marathon. This all comes from John Stock‘s novel, set to be published in June – so if Gaghan and McG pull their fingers out, they could get the film ready for the paperback, perhaps?

As for the plot… who knows if the spy’s father is guilty or not? I think it could go either way – shame that both routes are already well-trampled, muddy trails of cliche. If they cast John Voight as the father, though, I’m going to call in a complaint.

Novelist John Stock’s day job is as the editor of the Weekend pullout from the Daily Telegraph here in the UK, Gaghan is set up to direct Blink, a fiction film from Malcolm Gladwell’s non-fiction book, and McG also has his submarine movie on the go as well as more Termination.

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