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Screenwriter Tom Shepherd has been hired by Paramount Pictures to write a MATT HELM PROJECT for Bradley Cooper to star, the Tracking Board has confirmed. The film will be adapted from one or more of the books in Donald Hamilton’s spy novel series.
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are exec. producers on the project with Steven Spielberg also having been involved as a producer since this project was first announced in 2009.
The Helm character was a U.S. special agent during World War II who tries to live a domesticated life but is forced to return to killing. Hamilton wrote 27 Matt Helm novels between 1960 and 1993 before dying in 2006. Helm was famously played by Dean Martin in four adaptations of Matt Helm novels in the ’60s: The Silencers, Murderer’s Row, The Ambushers and The Wrecking Crew. Helm might be better known for the 1975 ABC television series called Matt Helm, starring Anthony Franciosa.
Shepherd wrote The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle for Robert Downey Jr. to star, and it will be directed by Stephen Gaghan for its release by Universal in April ’19. He also wrote the screenplay Hey, Stella about Marlon Brando on the A Streetcar Named Desire set, which was on the 2012 Black List, and an Agatha Christie spec for Sony. Shepherd also adapted Jennet Conant’s The Irregulars for Anonymous Content and Paramount TV.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor