As his Martin Luther King Jr. biopic heats up at Warner Bros. and DreamWorks, Kario Salem is being hired to write Paramount’s espionage thriller “Spy’s Kid,” which is slated to star Robert De Niro and Shia LaBeouf as father and son, TheWrap has learned.
Paramount had no comment.
Salem is in talks to write the movie, which D.J. Caruso is attached to direct. “Spy’s Kid” is based on a six-part series of articles by Bryan Denson that were published in The Oregonian in 2011. Denson’s book proposal for the true story recently sold in a six-way bidding war to Grove Atlantic.
IAM Entertainment’s Scott Glassgold (Fox’s “Rosa) and Raymond Brothers (WB’s “True Skin”) will produce the movie, which Paramount began setting up in April sans screenwriter. Jarod Einsohn will executive produce, while Emily Berger will co-produce.
The stranger-than-fiction tale will find De Niro playing Jim Nicholson, a 20-year veteran of the CIA who was convicted of spying and sentenced to 23 years in prison back in 1996. From behind bars, he coached his youngest son Nathan (LaBeouf) on how to be a spy and work as a courier selling secrets to the Russians.
Caruso has worked with LaBeouf before on “Disturbia” and “Eagle Eye,” while Salem wrote De Niro’s 2001 thriller “The Score,” which also starred Marlon Brando and Edward Norton.
Salem recently wrote the Gerard Butler movie “Chasing Mavericks,” and has been adapting the popular literary characters Travis McGee and Kay Scarpetta for he big screen. After doing three years of intensive research and numerous interviews, Salem’s MLK movie gained new momentum last week when Oliver Stone entered negotiations to direct and Jamie Foxx began circling the role of the civil rights leader, as TheWrap first reported.
Salem is represented by CAA and Anonymous Content.