A film adaptation of the Olen Steinhauer spy novel All The Old Knives has been on the radar for some time. The project very quickly attracted the attachment of director Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless, Divergent), but little has been heard of attempts to cast the movie – until now. It is suddenly rumoured that award-winning performers Idris Elba and Kate Winslet are in talks for the lead roles.
The reason for so much interest based on so little information is the plot of novel. Far from being the usual Bourne-style espionage thriller, All The Old Knives offers a fresh take on the old genre, mixing romantic intrigue with paranoia and conspiracy – as detailed in the book synopsis.
“Six years ago in Vienna, terrorists took over a hundred hostages, and the rescue attempt went terribly wrong. The CIA’s Vienna station gathered intel during those tense hours, assimilating facts from the ground and from an agent on the inside. So when it all went wrong, the question had to be asked: Had their agent been compromised, and how?
“Two of the CIA’s case officers in Vienna, Henry Pelham and Celia Harrison, were lovers at the time, and on the night of the hostage crisis Celia decided she’d had enough. She left the agency, married and had children, and now lives in idyllic Carmel-by-the-Sea. Henry is still a case officer in Vienna, and has traveled to California to see her one more time, to relive the past, maybe, or to put it behind him once and for all.
“But neither of them can forget that long-ago question: Had their agent been compromised? If so, how? Each also wonders what role tonight’s dinner companion might have played in the way the tragedy unfolded six years ago.”
The prospect of two dramatic heavy-hitters of the calibre of Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, facing off across a restaurant table in a bid to uncover the truth about a horrific terrorist attack is exciting to say the least – but if their interest in the roles is indeed true, they are still some way from signing on the dotted line. Similarly, we have yet to hear confirmation of the wider cast or, indeed, production dates. All The Old Knives may be a distant dream, but it certainly sounds like it will be worth the wait.
Source: The Playlist