Getty Images / University Press of Kansas
Ridley Scott’s production company Scott Free Films will team with New Sparta Films for NEITHER CONFIRM NOR DENY, a political thriller following the true story about the CIA’s covert mission to recover the Soviet nuclear submarine K-129, which sank in the Northern Pacific at the height of the Cold War.
The film will be based on David H. Sharp’s novel The CIA’s Greatest Covert Operation: Inside the Daring Mission to Recover a Nuclear-Armed Soviet Sub. The two companies have also bought Sharp’s life rights — he was the CIA Director for Recovery at the time — as well as those of the CIA’s Chief of Commercial Operations Division Waler Lloyd and Curtis Crooke, the President of Global Marine Development.
Those three men were pivotal to the success of the mission, which took place in March 1968, as the Americans and Soviets raced to retrieve the submarine and its nuclear contents. The CIA ultimately began the six-year operation code-named “Azorian” using an ocean mining operation by billionaire Howard Hughes as their front. They used the Hughes Glomar Explorer to bring the sunken ship up from the ocean floor.
New Sparta’s Sheryl Crown and Philip Carter will be developing the film as producers.
The late Tony Scott famously explored similar Cold War territory in his 1995 film Crimson Tide, starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman, which came out six years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, although the Cold War and the relationships between America and Russia are becoming a hot topic once again.
Scott Free is currently putting the final touches on director Ridley Scott’s new film about the J. Paul Getty kidnapping, All the Money in the World, starring Kevin Spacey, Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams, as well as the anticipated sequel Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve, and the Murder on the Orient Express remake from director Kenneth Branagh.
New Sparta co-financed two films that will be seen by audiences September: The Limehouse Golem, starring Bill Nighy and Olivia Cooke, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year and will be released on Sept. 8, while Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing Of A Sacred Deer will play at many of the fall film festivals before a release by A24 on November 3.
This story was initially reported upon by Deadline.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor