Beckner gains ‘Agency’

Ensemble drama delves into CIA

Feature scribe Michael Beckner, whose upcoming Brad Pitt-Robert Redford feature “Spy Game” begins lensing next month, is making his first foray into series television.

Beckner is teaming with Radiant Productions’ Wolfgang Peterson and Gail Katz on “The Agency,” an ensemble drama that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the CIA.

CBS has given the project a premium script order, and execs at the network have identified it as an early favorite for the 2001-02 development season. CBS Productions is attached to produce.

Should the project be ordered to series, Beckner is expected to stay on as an executive producer and writer.

Beckner will exec produce “The Agency” alongside Radiant’s Peterson and Katz (“The Perfect Storm,” “Bicentennial Man”). Peterson and Katz have a deal in place at CBS to develop drama (Daily Variety, March 1, 1999).

Beckner previously wrote “Escape Velocity” for Radiant.

Beckner’s specialty is espionage-themed projects; the writer’s upcoming feature “Spy Game” is already creating early buzz. “Spy Game,” which starts production in October, will be directed by Tony Scott and star Brad Pitt and Robert Redford.

Beckner is also developing “The Third Fate” with Sydney Pollack and has been working on an adaptation of the John Le Carre novel “The Night Manager” for Pollack and Paramount. He has another project in the works with Paul Verhoeven.

Beckner’s deal was brokered by AMG’s Rob Wolken and attorney Melanie Cook.

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