Warner spy tale a Hale bio film

Josephson to produce 'Liberty'

Warner Bros. Pictures has picked up the film rights to journo M. William Phelps’ upcoming bio on American Revolutionary hero and spy Nathan Hale, whose final words before being hung by the Brits — “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” — are famous to this day.

Barry Josephson’s Josephson Entertainment will produce the bigscreen adaptation of Phelps’ tome “For the Sake of Liberty: America’s First Spy,” which Thomas Dunne Books publishes this fall.

A statue of the charismatic and debonair Hale sits on the grounds of CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.

In September 1776, Hale volunteered for an espionage assignment authorized by the country’s first intelligence org, formed only a month earlier under George Washington’s authority. Disguising himself as a Dutch merchant, Hale sneaked onto the island of Manhattan, which had been captured by the British, to assess troop movement. His true identity was revealed, however, and he was sentenced to be executed.

His oft-quoted declaration is believed to be a paraphrase of a line in the Joseph Addison play “Cato,” which was popular at the time.

“We want to do it as an exciting spy story,” Josephson Entertainment VP Danica Radovanov said. “Phelps has uncovered a lot of new details.”

Josephson is producer, while Radovanov exec produces. Josephson Entertainment’s Alexander Young brought in the project. Deal marks the first book buy for Warner production exec Matt Reilly.

PMA Literary & Film Management repped the film rights.

Josephson produced the upcoming Disney release “Enchanted,” while he’s in pre-production for Fox on “They Came From Upstairs.” He’s also developing “Air Guitar” and “Hammer Down” for DreamWorks and “The Fall of Saigon” for Fox.

Josephson is also producing the TV series “Bones” and a “Nurses” pilot for Fox.

(Dave McNary contributed to this report.)

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading