Warner Bros. has plans to develop Don Winslow’s Satori into a feature film, Deadline reports. What’s more, Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to star as Nicholaï Hel, a master assassin first introduced in the novel, Shibumi by Trevanian. The plot of Satori is officially described as follows:
It is the fall of 1951, and the Korean War is raging. Twenty-six-year-old Nicholai Hel has spent the last three years in solitary confinement at the hands of the Americans. Hel is a master of hoda korosu, or naked kill, is fluent in seven languages, and has honed extraordinary proximity sense – an extra-awareness of the presence of danger. He has the skills to be the worlds most fearsome assassin and now the CIA needs him.
The Americans offer Hel freedom, money, and a neutral passport in exchange for one small service: to go to Beijing and kill the Soviet Unions commissioner to China. Its almost certainly a suicide mission, but Hel accepts. Now he must survive chaos, violence, suspicion, and betrayal while trying to achieve his ultimate goal of satori – the possibility of true understanding and harmony with the world.
Trevanian, a pen name for the late Rodney Whitaker, created the character of Hel for his 1979 novel, which has become heralded as one of the classics of the literary spy genre. Released in 2011 (six years after Whitaker’s death), Satori is designed to serve as a prequel to Shibumi, a book whose title refers a Japanese word that reflects the aesthetics of simple beauty.