D.J. Caruso to Direct Espionage Thriller 'Spy's Kid;' De Niro & LaBeouf in Talks

Spy's Kid DJ Caruso

In 2007, director D.J. Caruso scored a significant hit with the Rear Window-esque Disturbia. Though neither of his follow-up films (Eagle Eye and I Am Number Four) achieved quite the net profit of Disturbia, Caruso has proven himself a reliable director of glossy crowd-pleasers.

Caruso has long associated with thrillers, though his next likely production could contain an interesting twist – it's based on a true story. The director is apparently all but attached to direct the upcoming Spy's Kid, a true-life tale of espionage (not to be confused with Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids).

The Hollywood Reporter shares the scoop that Caruso is in final negotiations with Paramount to direct Spy's Kid. The project may well reunite Caruso with Disturbia and Eagle Eye star Shia LaBeouf, who is in talks to headline the film. Robert De Niro (The Big Wedding) is reportedly also highly interested in the movie.

Spy's Kid will adapt a story previously recorded in a multi-part expose published by The Oregonian in 2011. The story centers on CIA agent Jim Nicholson, a 20-year veteran of the agency convicted of selling state secrets. Eight years into his prison term, Nicholson began receiving regular visits from his son, Nathan, who was lost and confused after washing out of the Army. Using Nathan as a courier, Nicholson proceeded to restart his career in espionage and ended up selling even more information to Russia before his son's inevitable capture.

Eagle Eye Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf in 'Eagle Eye.'

If both actors agree to join the cast of Spy's Kid, this would mark the first time that De Niro and LaBeouf have worked together on a film. Each sounds like an ideal fit for the proposed father-and-son team; De Niro is no stranger to playing grizzled veterans and/or spies. Similarly, LaBeouf could probably pull off an impressionable sad-sack without great effort.

Currently billed as tonally similar to Catch Me If You Can, it will be interesting to see what direction Caruso decided to take Spy's Kid. The comparison to Steven Spielberg's con-man dramedy indicates that the material will be handled with a somewhat lighter touch, but the source story is fairly harrowing. One wonders if the facts will be massaged to present the film's erstwhile protagonists in a more relatable light – at least, as relatable as one can possibly make conspiracy and treason.


Spy's Kid currently has no estimated release date. Maintain surveillance on Screen Rant for any new developments.

Sources: THR

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