Warner Brothers are courting Michael Fassbender to play Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in a biopic titled Londongrad. The studio is also in talks with Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes director Rupert Wyatt to helm the project.
Alexander Litvinenko, who was a KGB agent, was poisoned in 2006 with polonium-210. Litvineko went public as he was dying, blaming Russian president Vladimir Putin for his assassination.
Johnny Depp was originally set to star but it seems that the his busy schedule has kept him from the film. The script has been penned by David Scarpa is based on the book The Terminal Spy: A True Story of Espionage, Betrayal and Murder by Alan Cowell. Originally on the 2009 Black List the script has been described as the following:
“The script evokes Born of the Fourth of July, Silkwood, and Robert De Niro’s history-of-the-CIA saga The Good Shepherd — but in Russia, with spies. Using Litvinenko’s final days as a framing device, Scarpa’s script flashes back to pivotal passages of Alexander’s adult life: training and serving as a KGB agent; trying to staunch the growing influence of Russian mobs as a Russian super-cop after the fall of Communism; and boldly deciding to publicly accuse his superiors of trying to assassinate a Russian business tycoon, as well as facilitating the rise of Russian president Vladimir Putin through acts of terrorism.”
This is the second Litvinenko biopic in the works with Michael Mann currently working on one called Death Of A Dissident.
While Rupert Wyatt is also contracted to direct a sequel to Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, that likely won’t start filming until 2013, so if Wyatt does sign on, it’s likely the cameras will roll next year on Londongrad.
This would also fit in well with Michael Fassbender‘s schedule, who as of the moment, is only booked out for the first quater of 2012, filming 12 Years A Slave and an untitled Jim Jarmusch film.