Furay, LaVigne company book 'Spymaster,' 'Murder'

Jon Furay and James LaVigne’s recently formed Gotham-based Vigorous Pictures has optioned screen rights to two books: Gayle Lynds’ espionage thriller “The Last Spymaster” and the Jonathan Green nonfiction book “Murder in the High Himalaya: Loyalty, Tragedy and Escape From Tibet.”

Projects join a slate of pictures since Vigorous was formed by Furay, formerly an indie producer and book scout, and LaVigne, the former veep of production at Michael Douglas’ Furthur Films.

In “The Last Spymaster,” an infamous turncoat spy breaks out of prison, and the CIA enlists its top hunter to track him down within 48 hours.

Furay and LaVigne are teamed with Scott Free and RSA on “Murder at 19,000 Feet,” a whistleblower drama based on a Men’s Journal article that’s being developed as a directing vehicle for Jake Scott. Furay and LaVigne are producing with Jules Daly.

Pic is based on Green’s investigation of the murder of a 17-year-old Tibetan nun who was gunned down by Chinese border guards while fleeing to India. The murder was witnessed by dozens of elite climbers who were headed up Everest and were suddenly forced to summit a crisis of conscience: If they didn’t keep quiet, they could end their climbing runs, which were dependent on the Chinese government approving permits. The book will be published by Public Affairs in June.

Vigorous is also producing “Rollover,” a film based on the Adam Penenberg book “Tragic Indifference” that Mikko Alanne (“Pinkville”) is scripting. Furay and LaVigne are producing with Furthur’s Douglas plus David Arata.

Furay and LaVigne said they’ve raised independent financing to launch a company that will focus on transferring true stories to films.

We’re fortunate to have raised development money in tough economic times,” Furay said.

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