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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Johnny Depp to Play Russian Spy "Alexander 'Sasha' Litvinenko"

Johnny Depp has been planning a film about a former Russian security agent whose poisoning in London has touched off an international mystery, according to the trade magazine Variety - one of three possible Hollywood projects about the case.
One of the other projects, involving the director Michael Mann, came after Columbia Pictures agreed to pay $1.5 million for the film rights to a book about the former Russian agent, Alexander Litvinenko, being co-written by his widow and a close friend Marina Litvinenko.
Warner Bros., which was outbid for that book, acquired the rights to a book by Alan Cowell, a New York Times reporter, which was published in 2008 by Doubleday. Depp's production company, Infinitum Nihil, is currently producing the film and the actor will star in it.

Mann is known for his crime sagas such as "Collateral," "Heat" and "Miami Vice," while Depp often takes on eccentric character roles in films such as "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Finding Neverland" and "Edward Scissorhands."
According to earlier Variety reports, Columbia envisions an espionage thriller "exploring the collision between the deep rooted Russian power structure enforced by the KGB ... and the new wave of wild west capitalism" that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. The book that will serve as the movie's main source was published in May, 2007 by Simon & Schuster's Free Press imprint.

Braun Entertainment Group, based in Beverly Hills, Calif., stated in 2007 that it had bought an option on film rights for a third potential project - based on Litvinenko's own book "Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within."
Braun - which previously produced for "Freedom Road," a movie starring Muhammad Ali, had been in talks with Litvinenko's widow, Marina, for its own project around the same time.
The former security agent's book was published in 2004 with financial support from the self-exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky and alleged the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB - an agency that replaced the KGB - was behind bombings at Russian apartment buildings in 1999 that killed more than 300 people. The Kremlin blamed the attacks on Chechen separatists.
An updated version of the book was released in Britain in mid January of 2007 as confirmed by the London publishing house Gibson Square.

Litvinenko fled to Britain, was granted asylum and became a Kremlin critic in exile. The former FSB agent died on the 23rd of November, 2006 several weeks after falling ill with what was later determined to be poisoning by the rare radioactive isotope polonium-210. Before his death, he said he fell ill after meeting in London with an Italian security expert to discuss possible suspects in the killing of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya a month earlier. In her coverage of Chechnya, Politkovskaya was highly critical of alleged human rights violations by Russian forces and by Kremlin-backed Chechen officials.

The film project is set to be done by 2011 and just to clarify, Johnny will star in the "Sasha's Story: The Life and Death of a Russian Spy" film version of the book by Alan Cowell made by his own production company (Infinitum Nihil) not Mann's version based on "Death of a Dissident", a book co-written by the poisoned ex-spy's widow Marina Litvinenko
Follow Link for the 2007 News article:.


Desert Rose said...

I'm usually interested in reading the books more than watching the films based on them but i believe that johnny Depp will make it worth watching him play in this movie. I am certainly looking forward to seeing it as well my Queen. Johnny Depp is one of the very few actors who can carve their heart prints on your soul with magical colors..
we will share our comments on that one once it's released for sure sweetheart. good pick!;)

Wild Rose said...

Thank you darling! Johnny Depp is immensely talented and coins the art of acting. He chooses the most unpopular scripts less commercialized films but they turn out to be the best films released. I also adore him as a human being so you can guess my eagerness to see him play this role. We'll definitely discuss more after we watch the film!

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