Italian producer Roberto Sessa (“The Sea Outside”) has snapped up rights to bestselling spy thriller “Supernotes” about a CIA-trained Italian intelligence officer who winds up in a Cambodian prison after investigating a sensitive scheme to print counterfeit $100 bills in North Korea.

Picomedia chief Roberto Sessa plans to turn the book – which had previously been optioned by Alexandra Milchan’s Los Angeles-based Emjag Productions — into a high-end TV series that he is pitching to prospective partners during France’s Series Mania festival.

“Supernotes,” which has been published in more than 30 countries, including the U.S., U.K. and France, is the purportedly true story of an Italian secret agent known as Agent Kasper who while on a mission during the mid-90s to investigate perfectly counterfeited $100 bills that were flooding Southeast Asia stumbles into an explosive secret behind them involving the CIA.

This leads the Italian operative to be forced to spend over a year in captivity in a detention camp near Phnom Penh.

Meanwhile, back in Rome, a feisty lawyer named Barbara Belli hired by Kasper’s family to work for his release comes to realize that the agent has uncovered something so damaging that the CIA wants him silenced.

Sessa, a veteran producer whose Rome-based Picomedia scored a hit recently with young adult drama “The Sea Outside,” says he was immediately captivated by the book written by Italian journalist Luigi Carletti and Agent Kasper. But he had to wait until Milchan’s option expired before recently buying the rights directly from the authors.

“This is a very ambitious project that will probably irk Americans,” said Sessa, referring to the fact that CIA are indicated as the currency counterfeiting culprits in the book. “It’s a sensitive issue,” he noted, “So we want to do it from an Italian point of view.”

The producer, who is already in talks with prospective British and French partners – and Italian and British screenwriters – said he is confident that he will be able to mount a co-production to produce the eight-episode show in Italian, English, and Cambodian within the next six months.