Exclusive: Lem Dobbs to tackle Frederick Forsyth film ‘The Kill List’

British thriller writer Frederick Forsyth photographed in 1999.
(James Woodcock / AP)

It’s been a quarter-century since the last Frederick Forsyth novel was turned into a film--"The Fourth Protocol” all the way back in 1987.

But momentum is building to turn his latest book, “The Kill List,” into a movie.

Lem Dobbs, the veteran screenwriter behind internationally minded thrillers such as “The Limey,” has been hired to write the script for the new film, according to two people close to the production who asked not to be identified because the project is still coming together.


Dobbs will be writing that screenplay for “Snow White and the Hunstman” helmer Rupert Sanders, who came on board to direct the project this summer. The film will be produced by Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz, who are also behind the upcoming Ridley Scott drug-smuggling thriller “The Counselor.”

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“Kill List,” released last month, centers on a U.S. Special Forces agent who is tasked with tracking down a powerful terrorist in what becomes a high-stakes cat-and-mouse game known as “the hunter” and “the hunted.”

The British-born Dobbs has had a long and fruitful career in Hollywood. In addition to “Limey” and sci-fi noir “Dark City,” he has recently written the martial-arts spy tale “Haywire” and the Robert Redford 60’s-radical thriller “The Company You Keep,” which came out last spring.

Forsythe, meanwhile, has had a number of books turned into movies, most notably the 1973 hit “The Day of the Jackal,” about the shadowy terrorist Carlos and his plan to assassinate Charles de Gaulle.

Movies about the war on terrorism had been a mixed bag at the box office, but they are becoming more reliable, with Osama bin Laden manhunt pic “Zero Dark Thirty” hitting $96 million in box office earlier this year.


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