Universal



Michael Fassbender will produce and star in the Lionsgate spy thriller "Malko," based on Gerard de Villiers’ S.A.S. series. The studio plans to turn the series into a film franchise. (Let's hope that goes better than, say, Universal's "Dark Universe.")

Lionsgate has secured rights to de Villier’s catalogue of espionage thrillers, which includes more than 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 described as a gentleman warrior without a country who works according to his own moral code.

The first film will largely be based upon de Villier’s 1975 book "Checkpoint Charlie."

Sounds right up Fassbender's alley: The German-born actor just presumably played Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto for the last time in "Dark Phoenix." And he first came to our attention as a spy pretending to be a Nazi in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds."

Eric Warren Singer (an Oscar nominee for "American Hustle") will write the screenplay.

First, Fassbender is starting work on David Sandberg’s action-comedy "Kung Fury," which goes into production later this summer.

[Via Variety]