Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Life of "Deep Throat"

You knew it was going to happen.....after the recent public announcement of who the real Watergate information leak was, the rights have been sold. Variety brings us the story:

According to Variety, Universal Pictures and Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman have inked with W. Mark Felt, the retired FBI man who recently admitted he was the famous anonymous source.

Felt was the shadowy insider who aided Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in exposing the Nixon administration's role in the Watergate and its cover-up.

In a deal completed Wednesday, Universal bought the life rights of Felt and his family, as well as those of John O'Connor, the San Francisco attorney whose article reveals Felt's secret in the July issue of Vanity Fair. Studio bought the VF article as well as Felt's 1979 memoir and another book that Felt and O'Connor plan to write.

Hanks and Goetzman will produce the film.

The rights package was brokered by CAA, which signed Felt and O'Connor after the revelation.

Several studios chased Felt's rights, but U president of production Donna Langley and Goetzman pulled off the purchase.

Meanwhile, a book deal was closed with Public Affairs for "A G-Man's Life: The FBI, Being Deep Throat and the Struggle for Honor in Washington." That is the working title of a book Felt and O'Connor will write with ex-Newsweek senior editor Steve Strasser that will use the 1979 memoir as its basis and add in recent events. The book will be published next spring.

Woodward, who is writing his own book about his relationship with Felt, isn't involved in the U deal. "All the President's Men," the book he wrote with Bernstein, was turned into a political thriller by Warner Bros. and director Alan Pakula in 1976.

The Deep Throat saga becomes the latest addition in Playtone's growing inventory of films about pivotal moments in American history. At U (which just released "Inside Deep Throat" as well), Playtone set Paul Greengrass to write and direct "They Marched Into Sunlight," a drama about a Vietnam battlefield siege and college campus protest, and Aaron Sorkin has turned in his script for "Charlie Wilson's War," a drama about the colorful Texas congressman who's credited with accelerating the fall of the Soviet Union by mobilizing CIA support for rebels in Afghanistan.

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