Steven Spielberg considering Matt Helm

Steven Spielberg is seriously pondering whether to make Matt Helm his next film.

Based on Donald Hamilton's novel series, the MAtt Helm adventures chronicle the work of a US government agent who eliminates enemy agents.

While the books are set in the Cold War era, the scripts - including a new version by Paul Attanasio, that has caught Spielberg's attention - are set in the present day.

And while previous adaptations (starring Dean Martin, below) have been spoofy romps, the new version is, surprise, surprise, hewing more towards The Bourne Identity than Austin Powers.

Of course, this being The Beard, you'd think that all he has to do is wave his hand in the direction of a film and the studio starts scrambling to get it into production.

Trouble is, it's not that straightforward this time around.

See, Spielberg had been developing the film for several years at DreamWorks, but it was one of the projects he left behind like a sad puppy at Paramount when the two companies split.

Now Paramount has control of the rights and doesn't necessarily have to go with Spielberg at the helm. They may even decide to hand the script to a new, cheaper director.

Yet with a likely franchise in the offing, they'd be missing out on the World's Most Famous Director(TM) kick-starting it all off.

According to Variety, we'll soon find out how this tug-of-war ends. But nobody should bet against The Beard.

[Source: Variety ]

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Freelance Journalist

James White is a freelance journalist who has been covering film and TV for over two decades. In that time, James has written for a wide variety of publications including Total Film and SFX. He has also worked for BAFTA and on ODEON's in-cinema magazine.