Director Jonathan Levine has made his mark in Hollywood with indie dramedies like 50-50 and The Wackness, but the director’s next step may be considerably more mainstream. Like, McG mainstream.
According to a new report, Levine is in active negotiations to direct Dead Spy Running, a spy movie based on the book of the same name by John Stock. The film, which was originally going to be directed by McG (Terminator: Salvation), follows the story of a freshly-trained spy. It’s been described as “John Le Carre meets Jason Bourne,” which is about as good as you can get in the spy genre.
This news, first reported by Twitch, is the first piece of information to come out about Dead Spy Running for some time. While McG is still producing the film, the director’s chair has been empty for a little while. Dead Spy Running co-writer Stephen Gaghan (who also wrote and directed the excellent Syriana) was at one point slated to direct, but moved on from the project, which is what led to Levine.
While it’s not entirely clear how Levine’s indie sensibilities would mesh with a spy thriller, the director is moving incrementally closer to the mainstream. 50/50 performed well at the box office and Levine’s next film, the zombie love story Warm Bodies, seems like the type of movie that could go over well with the fantasy-romance-horror-obsessed teen/tween audience. It even has a handsome up-and-coming young star in Nicholas Hoult (Beast in X-Men: First Class).
Quality directors in Hollywood aren’t easy to come by and Levine seems to have some decent chops. If he does end up taking on this project, it will be a big change of pace, but one that could propel his career to the next level.
What do you think of Jonathan Levine possibly directing a spy film? Can the director of 50-50 succeed in telling a Bourne-style adventure?
We’ll keep you updated on the status of Dead Spy Running as more news develops.