Back in the autumn of 2015, it was revealed that Matthew Vaughn, then enjoying the success of the first Kingsman movie, had signed up to direct the movie version of screenwriter Terry Hayes’ first novel, I Am Pilgrim.
The 2014 book follows a mysterious spy called Pilgrim, the code name for a man who doesn’t exist. Once the head of a secret espionage unit for U.S. intelligence, he lives anonymously in retirement but is summoned back into action in order to save America from a ruthless and cunning terrorist.
The book was a hugely successful thriller on its first publication, with further installments on the way, and MGM sees the property as a possible franchise in the mold of its other secret agent cash cow, James Bond.
But Vaughn left the project, which put it in limbo for a while even though Hayes himself — who has written scripts for films like Dead Calm and The Road Warrior — had penned a screenplay for the picture. Now word comes that James Gray, director of The Lost City of Z and the upcoming sci-fi epic Ad Astra, has been recruited by MGM to helm I Am Pilgrim.
Gray is in post-production on Ad Astra, which stars Brad Pitt and is due out later this year, and will likely get behind the camera for I Am Pilgrim next.
The book landed on both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times best seller lists, was a massive hit in the U.K. and has been translated into more than 30 languages, so there seems to be an audience out there for a potential new spy franchise. No word yet on a release date or potential star, but we’ll stay tuned. And at least there’s now a new director on board.