EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and producer Scott Stuber have optioned the Derek Haas spy thriller novel The Right Hand. Haas and his right hand man, screenwriting partner Michael Brandt, are set to adapt the book as a feature, and they will produce with Stuber. The book was chased by multiple producers and financiers, who responded to a trailer generated for the book.
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The scribes’ credits include Wanted, 2 Fast 2 Furious and 3:10 To Yuma, and Brandt and Haas just launched their NBC series creation Chicago Fire.
The Right Hand is the fourth novel that Haas has written, and it will be released November 13 by Mulholland Books. The novel focuses on Austin Clay, a spy whose work is so covert that the government won’t even admit he exists. And yet he executes necessary missions. Here, he is sent to track down a missing American operative, who was captured in the Russian countryside. This leads Clay into a conspiracy that involves a mole that has penetrated the top levels of U.S. government. Damien Saccani will be executive producer.
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Said Haas: “I’m thrilled The Right Hand is in the hands of Scott Stuber and Universal, with whom Michael and I have had incredible movie experiences. We love that after readers get a chance to discover this spy thriller in November, we’ll get to bring it … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: A pre-Cannes domestic distribution deal was closed last night by Image Entertainment for The Double, the Hyde Park/Imagenation thriller that marked the directing debut of Michael Brandt. Brand wrote the script with Derek Haas, his writing partner on such films as Wanted and 3:10 To Yuma. The film was expected to be auctioned during the Cannes Film Festival, but WME Global’s Graham Taylor and Hyde Park’s Ashok Amritraj snuck the picture for domestic distributors Friday night. They went with Image, the recapitalized distributor that is emerging as a player in the revived independent film sector. The deal was over $2 million minimum guarantee and a P&A commitment for an October rollout. Haas produced it with Amritraj, Patrick Aiello and Andrew Deane.
Image released the Peter Weir-directed The Way Back and the Hilary Swank-starrer The Resident. The Double stars Richard Gere, Topher Grace and Martin Sheen. A retired CIA operative is paired with a young FBI agent to figure out who killed a senator. The clues indicate that he might have been a victim of a Soviet assassin. Amritraj will screen the film in Cannes. Already, Tele Munchen has bought Germany, Aurum has bought Spain and D’Al Angelo has acquired Italian rights. Brandt and Haas are repped by WME, Industry and attorney Adam Kaller.
Watchmen’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan has committed to star in the title of The Courier, an action film directed by Paradise Now helmer Hany Abu-Assad. Production is set to start next month in New Orleans. Arclight Films is financing.
Morgan will also be executive producer.
Script’s by 3:10 to Yuma team Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, and Morgan plays a courier who has taken on improbable missions and never missed a drop. He’s hired to deliver a briefcase to a notorious underworld figure that can’t be found. The courier finds himself pursued by corrupt cops, double-crossing feds and rival crime bosses. Cary Brokaw is producing.
Morgan moves to the action film after he completes the Bruce Beresford-directed Peace, Love and Misunderstanding with Catherine Keener and Jane Fonda. He recently wrapped the Ami Canaan Mann-directed The Fields with Sam Worthington, as well as Red Dawn and the Hammer Films thriller The Resident with Hilary Swank. UTA and Precision Entertainment rep Morgan.