With the second season of his FX drama coming to a strong close, “Tyrant” exec producer and co-creator Gideon Raff is setting his sights on his film slate, having sold the pitch “Operation Brothers” to Fox Searchlight.
Sources tell Variety that Raff will write, produce and direct the pic based on the 1981 rescue of Ethiopian Jews to Israel. The top-secret story begins in 1977, when Israel’s Mossad spy agency was given an assignment far different from its usual cloak-and-dagger activities. It was ordered by then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin to rescue thousands of Ethiopian Jewish refugees in Sudan and deliver them to the Jewish state. No stranger to action in enemy countries, the agency established a covert forward base in a deserted holiday village in Sudan and deployed a handful of operatives to launch and oversee the exodus of the refugees to the Promised Land, by sea and by air, in the early 1980s.
Alexandra Milchan is also on board to produce.
Raff is also on board to direct the adaptation of the Alice LaPlante novel “Turn to Mind” for Fox 2000. He is also producing that project with Gail Berman; “Turn to Mind” is a thriller about a retired surgeon suffering from Alzheimer’s who becomes a suspect in her friend’s murder.
After the success of Showtime’s “Homeland,” which Raff co-created, he teamed with the show’s exec producer, Howard Gordon, on “Tyrant,” which will wrap its second season next Tuesday.
Like just about every returning scripted series this summer, “Tyrant” is down from last year, but it has been a steady, decent performer for FX. For the season, it’s averaging a 0.73 rating in adults 18-49 and about 2.2 million viewers overall in Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates.
With “Tyrant” awaiting news on whether it will receive a renewal for a third season, Raff can focus on moving things forward on his film projects. He is also a co-creator on the USA drama “Dig.”
He is repped by WME and Stone Meyer.