Cary Fukunaga was one of the hotter directorial names of 2014. He directed every episode of the celebrated first season of HBO’s True Detective, including such virtuoso moments as the famed single-take tracking shot of a gun fight, as well as the haunted house finale and a whole lot of brooding Matthew McConaughey monologues. Fukunaga’s work on the anthology would eventually win him an Emmy.
The director, who previously helmed 2009’s Sin Nombre and 2011’s Jane Eyre, went on to direct Netflix’s well-received African war drama Beasts of No Nation in 2015, and also managed to have nothing whatsoever to do with True Detective’s much-maligned second season. It’s been known for awhile that Fukunaga’s next film is the World War II drama The Noble Assassin, and now it has been announced who will write it for him.
According to Variety, DreamWorks has hired the writing team of Adam Cooper and Bill Collage to pen the film. The duo is also worked on another film with “Assassin” in the title — the in-production Assassin’s Creed adaptation starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Colltiard. Cooper and Collage’s other credits include Accepted, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Transporter Refueled, and this year’s The Divergent Series: Allegiant. The duo also created the recently canceled ABC TV series Of Kings and Prophets. They have several other projects in the works, including Devil in the Grove, Martin Scorsese’s The General and Guernica.
The Noble Assassin is based on an as-yet-unpublished novel of the same name, written by Paul Kix. According to the report the film tells the story of “a French aristocrat who becomes an anti-Nazi saboteur trained by the British Special Operations Executive.” Even though the novel won’t be published until early next year, the story has been on Hollywood’s radar long enough that Fukunaga was attached to it as far back as 2013, with Scott Silver originally on board as screenwriter. No casting has been announced.
Is this a project worth getting excited about? Probably. Fukunaga has shown that he’s a singular talent, the sort of director who has found a way to do exciting things every time out. Also, it’s pretty rare for an adaptation to cause such a frenzy in Hollywood that the material in question is in active development more than three years before the release of the corresponding book. That said, the screenwriting duo’s record — especially Exodus, Allegiant and a TV drama that was canceled after two episodes — may seem like an odd choice. Still, the duo must have had an interesting take on the source material to be brought on as the film’s new writers.
There’s no listed release date yet for The Noble Assassin, although the Assassin’s Creed movie will be released December 21, 2016.