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Walden Boards Producer Akiva Goldsman’s ‘Billion Dollar Spy’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Walden Media will develop, finance and produce a film adaptation of David E. Hoffman’s “The Billion Dollar Spy” with Akiva Goldsman producing, Variety has learned exclusively.

Ben August (“Remember”) is attached to write the script. Goldsman’s producing credits through his Weed Road company include “Lone Survivor,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and “I Am Legend.”

Walden Media President/CEO Frank Smith said: “David Hoffman’s magnificent and detailed story of cold war espionage couldn’t be more timely. With the prolific producer Akiva Goldsman and rising star, writer Ben August, on board, this is a very exciting project. ‘The Billion Dollar Spy’ is a great fit for Walden as we expand our slate, it’s a story of true patriotism, and the lengths people will go in order to be free from tyranny and oppression.”

Hoffman’s book centers on an ordinary man, Adolf G. Tokachev, who became the Pentagon’s most valuable spy during the last years of the Cold War. Tolkachev, a senior engineer in a top-secret Soviet aerospace laboratory, used his high-level access to hand over tens of thousands of pages of technical secrets, and secretly photographed thousands of pages of highly classified blueprints, diagrams and reports on the latest airborne radars, avionics, guidance systems and fighter designs.

The CIA soon became the crown jewel of their spying networks. Tolkachev and his handlers succeeded for years in eluding the feared KGB in its own backyard, until the day came when a shocking betrayal put them all at risk.

August’s “Remember” was released this year through A24 after premiering at the Toronto Film Festival, starring Christopher Plummer and directed by Atom Egoyan. He also wrote “The Swimmer” for Thunder Road, “Protected” for IM Global, and “The Thief” for Senator.

Naia Cucukov will oversee the project on behalf of Walden Media. Greg Lessans will oversee the project on behalf of Weed Road.

Hoffman is represented by ICM Partners. August is represented by ICM Partners, Kaplan/Perrone and Eclipse Law. Goldsman is represented by WME and attorney Barry Littman.

Walden’s upcoming projects include “The BFG,” directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Roald Dahl’s  novel, opening July 1; “A Dog’s Purpose,” directed by Lasse Hallström and based on the book of the same name, on Jan. 27; and the inspirational true story “Carry On” with Nate Parker (“Birth of a Nation”) attached to write.

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