Fox Takes Black Hawk Down Scribe’s Spy Thriller Defection


Twentieth Century Fox has, according to Deadline, secured the big screen rights to Defection, an upcoming spy thriller by Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down), based on Robert Littell’s debut novel “The Defection of A.J. LeWinter”. Although the storyline in the screenplay has been updated to offer a contemporary setting, the original book, published in 1973, is officially described as follows:

A.J. LeWinter is an American scientist, for years an insignificant cog in America’s complex defense machinery. While at an academic conference in Tokyo, LeWinter contacts the KGB station chief and says he wants to defect. He tantalizes the Russians with U.S. military secrets he claims to possess, but is his defection genuine? Neither the Russians nor the Americans are sure, and LeWinter is swept up in a terrifying political chess match of deceit and treachery.

The film version will not include the USSR, opting instead for a contemporary crisis with North Korean antagonists.

Hutch Parker will produce Defection with Dan Wilson serving as executive producer.