Steven Spielberg eyeing hard-boiled Matt Helm spy movie?

Dean Martin played Matt Helm in the Henry Levin film The Ambushers
Dean Martin played Matt Helm in the Henry Levin film The Ambushers

The speculation in Variety is that Steven Spielberg could be seriously considering taking the director’s chair for a Matt Helm movie that DreamWorks developed several years before leaving it behind at Paramount as part of the split between the two companies.

But according to the report, the question of whether Spielberg will direct involves a series of complex issues surrounding the relationship between Paramount and DreamWorks, and the latter studio’s new finance partner, Reliance.

Spielberg’s company has confirmed that he is attached to produce, but it’s unclear if he’s going to direct. The hyphenate is apparently excited about the project again after a rewrite was delivered last week by Paul Attanasio.

Matt Helm is based on a series of 27 novels written by Donald Hamilton, about a government agent whose mission is to take down enemy operatives. While the novels were set in the Cold War era just after World War II, the current script changes the setting to the present day.

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