Several of Lee’s books have been optioned for films. Caught in the Act was optioned twice, but no film was made. The most popular is probably The Ninth Man, which was first optioned by Richard Zanuck and David Brown, shortly after the release of their successful film, JAWS. Richard Mulligan was named to direct. The year ran out before a film was started, so Zanuck and Brown bought another year’s option. A later option was taken with Matt Damon as possible hero. In fact the book has been optioned and paid for five times without making the final step to film.
In a sixth movie option, again with DreamWorks, The Ninth Man was rumored to be working with Harrison Ford as a possible lead character. But Ford was committed to the fourth Indiana Jones film and couldn't work out the timing. Read article below.
Books Optioned for Films
Harrison Ford Is THE NINTH MAN!
Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
I haven't heard anything about this. I'll definitely ask some potential sources, see if I can get anything on the record. For now, here's what I got in my e-mail box the other day:
Hi harry, found this on the website Harrison Ford Web.com, Don't know if theirs any truth to it, but it sounds like it has potential, I still wish he could have worked out AWATS but this should be ok:
Is Harrison's next project Dreamworks "The Ninth Man?"
On June 5th during an online chat session at MSN's site, Harrison was asked if there were any projects coming up that he could discuss. His response: "We're getting close to being able to announce a drama that we'll be doing later this year, but I can't talk about it yet. The next project after that is the next "Indiana Jones" movie"
Since that interview, I have been keeping close tabs on latest project developments and have found what I believe is the project he was referring to.
"The Ninth Man" is a drama/thriller and is based on the 1976 book THE NINTH MAN by John Lee.
The plot: "During World War II, eight Nazis take a U-boat to the US and wreak havoc on the East coast... while a ninth sneaks away to assassinate President Roosevelt."
January of this year is when Harrison's name got attached and since it is a Dreamworks project, Spielberg will be one of the producers.
I have to admit that I like the sound of this. I'm guessing that Harrison's role has him as the one who will be tracking down the 9th Nazi and saving the President! Lots of potential here and this could be the project that will bring back the fans that gave up on him. This type of movie/role has a Jack Ryan feel to it but without the baggage of Tom Clancy!
What does have me concerned though was Harrison's next project contingent on how well Hollywood Homicide performed? If so, we might not get another movie out of him until Indy 4.
Thanks for forwarding me the article. It's a cool premise, very Hitchcockian. I'm always up for a smart thriller, and I think Harrison's more suited to this than to a pure action piece these days.
Let's see how this one pans out. Attaching a director's a big deal. Maybe this would be a great place for Harrison and Joe Carnahan to work together since A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES doesn't look like it's happening.
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