Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In a six-figure deal, producers Steve Schwartz, Paula Mae Schwartz and Nick Wechsler have preemptively acquired rights to The Kill List, the new novel by Day Of The Jackal author Frederick Forsyth. The contemporary espionage tale is described as an intricate chess game between a brilliant Marine, an Israeli agent, a teenage hacker and a mysterious psychopathic cleric. The novel will be published in September by Penguin. Forsyth also wrote The Fourth Protocol and The Odessa File. Schwartz, Schwartz and Wechsler will produce and Roger Schwartz is co-producer. They bought this preemptively as they did The Counselor, which went from a Cormac McCarthy spec to a green lit movie at lightning speed. Matching the gritty intensity that McCarthy has poured into books like No Country For Old Men, the script quickly drew director Ridley Scott and a cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. Fox releases it November 15. The producers got an early peek at Forsyth’s novel along with one or two others, but they moved quickest. Their plan is to meet with writers, and go as far as they need to in packaging the film before it finds a landing place at a major studio. CAA, Ed Victor and attorney David Fox negotiated the deal.