Based on a novel by former British reporter Jon Stock, Dead Spy Running centers on former MI6 secret agent Daniel Merchant, who finds himself on a globe-trotting adventure to clear his name after an attempted suicide bombing during the London Marathon. It's the first in a planned trilogy, and has invoked comparisons to both John Le Carre and Robert Ludlum. Sounds like catnip for a studio, combining the prestige of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and the ass-stomping of The Bourne Identity.
According to Twitch, Levine is currently in talks with Warner Bros. to make his action debut on the project. This Means War and Charlie's Angels director McG is on board as a producer alongside Kevin McCormick. The screenplay was written by Jamie Moss and Stephen Gaghan, who was previously attached to direct. Gaghan, who penned Traffic and directed Syriana, is unable to helm Dead Spy Running due to scheduling issues, it seems.
The producers and studio have found a most promising replacement in Levine, no stranger to genre-hopping. His feature debut, the self-aware horror film All the Boys Love Mandy Lane never got anywhere near the attention it deserved, and he then moved on to The Wackness, a personal 1994-set story that perfectly balanced earnest emotion and character-based humor. Most recently, he deservedly earned accolades for the cancer drama-comedy 50/50 starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogan.
Levine is currently at work on Warm Bodies, an adaptation of the Isaac Marion novel that finds a zombie stumbling into an existential crisis and a strange friendship after he eats the brains of a beautiful woman's boyfriend, absorbing the late suitor's memories. That film, which stars Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, was set for this summer until Summit Entertainment recheduled it for February 1, 1013.