Variety is reporting that Steven Spielberg is “seriously considering” directing a movie about the fictional secret agent known as Matt Helm, created by Donald Hamilton.
According to the report, the film was in development for several years at DreamWorks before the studio lost the rights, handing them over to the folks at Paramount. Spielberg’s people have put the word out that he is currently attached to produce alongside Star Trek and Transformers 2 writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, but it is still unclear as to whether he will direct. He is reportedly excited about the project after a re-write that Paul Attanasio (Donnie Brasco) turned in last week.
Matt Helm is based on a series of 27 novels about a government agent whose mission is to take down enemy agents — sort of like Jason Bourne, but with his memory in tact and the nature of his mission more on the side of noble. It would be an interesting project for Spielberg, who is currently in the midst of moving DreamWorks from being backed by Reliance to a new deal with Disney and directing Tintin, but I wouldn’t throw all of your excitement at it just yet. If this truly is on the books for Spielberg, it could be somewhere in the vicinity of 2011 (the year the first Tintin film hits theaters) or later before he ever gets started. Chances are that like Eagle Eye (which he handed to D.J. Caruso) and The Trial of the Chicago Seven (which will now be directed by Ben Stiller), he will hand it off to another director in the DreamWorks family and stay on as a producer.
Also on a personal note, I would like to see Spielberg do that Lincoln movie he’s been talking about for so many years before he boots up a Matt Helm franchise.
What do you think?