A bit of a bidding war just wrapped for the rights to a new World War II book. Variety has reported that New Line won over Warner Brothers for the rights to Ben Macintyre's Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal, in a high-six figure deal. The plan is to team up with Playtone, Tom Hanks' production company, to produce the feature, but no screenwriter or director has been set yet. There's also no mention of fast-tracking the project, so this could be some post-strike fare, unless they get cracking.

The source material is pretty rich, so this could be a really good film. Agent Zigzag is no James Bond -- he's Edward Arnold Chapman -- a criminal who became a war hero, of sorts, during WWII. Pre-war, he was a safecracker who also spent a lot of time having affairs with London's high society ladies, and then blackmailing them with photos of the interludes. After getting caught for one of his crimes, he was in prison in the Channel Islands when the Germans occupied the area. They tapped him to be a spy, trained him in France, and then sent him to the UK for some war-time sabotage. However, he went right to the police and ended up becoming a double agent who balanced the demands of Germany and Britain, as well as the romantic demands of two fiances -- one for each region.

This is the second film about Chapman to gear up. Back in 1966, Terence Young directed Triple Cross, which had Christopher Plummer starring as Agent Zigzag. Should this flick get off the ground, who do you think would make a good, womanizing double agent for this millenium?
categories Movies, Cinematical