By now, I'm sure you've all heard the names Valerie Plame and Ambassador Joseph Wilson; Plame was outed as a CIA agent by White House officials following an op-ed piece in the New York Times written by her husband, Wilson, in which he attacked the Bush administration for manipulating intelligence about weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the current Iraq invasion. It's juicy stuff -- and now that Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, is on trial defending accusations that he lied to FBI agents investigating the leak -- Warner Bros. has decided to snag the life rights of Plame and Wilson for -- you guessed it -- a delicious Hollywood movie.
Ah, but here's the catch: studio wants to use Plame's upcoming memoir Fair Game for the film, however before it's published the CIA has to approve. As Variety points out, it's ironic that the same government who outed her -- threatening the safety of herself and her family -- can also prevent her from telling the story. Set up as a co-production between Weed Road's Akiva Goldsman and Zucker Productions, producers Jerry and Janet Zucker feel there's more than enough scandal currently out in the media that, while the memoir would be added incentive, it's not a make or break situation. But is it worthy of the big screen treatment? The last two CIA-related pics to hit theaters, The Good Shepherd and Breach, barely made a dent at the box office; these days, it seems folks want their CIA agents to shoot bad guys and blow things up, while bedding a number of beautiful women. Has real life become too boring? Jez and John Butterworth will pen the script, having just completed work on Spike Lee's James Brown biopic, Superbad.
I'd like to think pic's box office draw will rely heavily on its cast, but De Niro had Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie for Shepherd, yet the film still didn't attract a mass audience. I immediately expect Nicole Kidman or Diane Lane to be a frontrunners for Plame, and perhaps Richard Gere for Wilson -- but is this material worthy of a Hollywood picture or more made-for-TV?