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Michael Fassbender to Produce, Star in Lionsgate Spy Thriller ‘Malko’

Michael Fassbender will produce and star in the Lionsgate spy thriller “Malko,” based on Gerard de Villiers’ S.A.S. series, with the studio planning to launch a franchise with the project.

Eric Warren Singer, who was nominated for an Academy Award for best original screenplay for “American Hustle,” will write the screenplay. Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, made the announcement Tuesday.

Lionsgate has also secured rights to de Villier’s catalogue of espionage thrillers, serialized through 200 books. The S.A.S. franchise follows Malko Linge, an Austrian nobleman and freelance CIA operative who spent his formative years in a special Nazi work camp for captured spies. Malko is a gentleman warrior without a country who works according to his own moral code and lives with a wicked wit and a lust for life.

The first film will largely be based upon de Villier’s book “Checkpoint Charlie.” Lionsgate secured the film rights to the catalogue of S.A.S. based stories from Black Magic’s Lars Sylvest, who developed the property with de Villiers and Thorsten Schumacher. The project will be produced together with Rocket Science.

In addition to Fassbender, who is producing through his DMC Film production company, the producers include Black Magic’s Lars Sylvest, Kingsgate Films’ Greg Shapiro, and Rocket Science’s Thorsten Schumacher. Serving as executive producers are Singer, Jason Clark and DMC’s Conor McCaughan. “Malko” will be overseen by James Myers and Brady Fujikawa at Lionsgate.

Fassbender is a two-time Academy Award nominee for his roles in Danny Boyle’s “Steve Jobs” and Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave.” Fassbender is starting work on David Sandberg’s action-comedy “Kung Fury” when it goes into production later this summer.

Fassbender is represented by CAA, Troika, and Sloane Offer Weber & Dern. Singer is represented by Gochman Law Group. Shapiro is represented by Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. CAA Media Finance brokered the deal. Dan Freedman oversaw negotiations on behalf of Lionsgate.

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