Chris Pine and Michelle Williams are in negotiations to co-star in the Mark Gordon Company’s spy thriller “All the Old Knives,” sources tell Variety. “Theory of Everything” helmer James Marsh is also in negotiations to direct, the sources add.
The Mark Gordon Company and eOne will finance. Olen Steinhauer (author of “The Tourist”) adapted the screenplay from his novel of the same name.
Nick Wechsler will produce with Chockstone Pictures partners Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz, along with Chockstone’s Roger Schwartz who will serve as a co-producer. MGC’s Mark Gordon and Matt Jackson will executive produce, with Sara Smith overseeing the project on behalf of MGC.
The story is set in the idyllic town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, where ex-lovers Henry and Celia — one a CIA spy and one an ex-CIA spy — meet for dinner and to reminisce. They relive their memories of the disastrous hijacking of Royal Jordanian Flight 127, which ended in the death of all on board, a failure that haunts the CIA’s Vienna station to this day. The question is whether Henry has come to dinner to rekindle the romance or to get to the bottom of a conspiracy. It also becomes clear that one of the ex-lovers may not survive the meal.
eOne will handle worldwide distribution on the film and will directly distribute the film in its territories, with Sierra/Affinity representing the film in all other international territories. CAA and WME co-represent the film’s domestic distribution rights.
Williams is coming off a very strong 2016 which included Kelly Reichardt’s “Certain Women” and Amazon’s “Manchester by the Sea,” which earned some of the best reviews of her career along with an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.
She recently landed the highly coveted role of Gail Harris in Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World” and can be seen next in Todd Haynes “Wonderstruck,” which premieres this month in Cannes. She also has Fox’s “The Greatest Showman on Earth” bowing in December.
Pine is also coming off some of the best reviews of his career for the Oscar-nominated “Hell or High Water.” He’s following that up with two high-profile tentpoles, Warner Bros. “Wonder Woman,” where he plays Steve Trevor, and Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” which opens next spring. He is also on board to host “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.
Prior to directing “The Theory of Everything,” Marsh was best known for his award-winning docs including “Man on Wire,” which won the Oscar for best documentary and was eventually adapted into the feature film “The Walk” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He is currently in post-production on “The Mercy” starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz for Studio Canal.
Williams is repped by WME, Brillstein Entertainment, and Bloom Hergott and Pine is repped by CAA, John Carrabino Management and Gendler & Kelly. Marsh is repped by WME and Independent Talent Group.