Duo nab rights to Ignatius' thriller

Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have acquired screen rights to “The Increment,” a geopolitical thriller novel by David Ignatius to be published by WW Norton next year.

Title refers to a shadowy, elite group of British undercover intelligence operatives who are conscripted by a CIA agent to help a weapons scientist defect from Iran.

Looking to work with a producer he’d done business with before, Ignatius directed his CAA agents to submit the book last weekend only to Scott Free and Bruckheimer, for whom Ignatius previously worked on the script “Tandem Couple.”

The manuscript got high marks in the lit community for suspense and characters, but some were surprised that Disney made the deal: The material is very dark, and the fact that an Iran invasion is woven into the plot could be a potential hot potato by the time the book is developed into a film.

Ignatius, a Washington Post columnist, wrote “Body of Lies,” the 2007 novel that was adapted by William Monahan into a Ridley Scott-directed thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. Scott Free produced. Warner Bros. releases the film this fall.

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