Dave Collard has been hired to script the CIA thriller “Neither Confirm Nor Deny,” set up with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Films and New Sparta Films, Variety has learned.
The project originated last year when the producers acquired movie rights to the David H. Sharp book “The CIA’s Greatest Covert Operation: Inside the Daring Mission to Recover a Nuclear-Armed Soviet Sub.”
The book details the aftermath of the Soviet nuclear submarine K-129 sinking in the Pacific Ocean in 1968 in 16,000 feet of water. Despite a massive secret search, the Soviets never found their missing submarine – but the Americans located it as the CIA hatched Azorian, the code name for a six-year operation to bring up the sub and its secrets, using a cover story involving ocean mining fronted by the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes.
When their cover was blown by press coverage, the CIA’s response was “We can neither confirm nor deny.”
Scott Free and New Sparta also acquired the life rights for Sharp, who was the CIA Director for Recovery; Walter Lloyd, the CIA Chief of Commercial Operations Division; and Curtis Crooke of Global Marine Development. Producers are Scott and Kevin Walsh at Scott Free, New Sparta’s Christopher Simon, and Maggie Monteith at Dignity Film Finance. Sam Roston is overseeing the project for Scott Free.
Collard’s producer credits are the feature films “Out of Time” and “Annapolis.” He began his career writing on “Family Guy.” Collard is repped by Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston and managed by Russell Hollander. HIs attorneys are Bryan Swatt and Ken Richman.