Oren Moverman To Write, Maybe Direct 'Terrorist Search Engine' For Scott Rudin & Jesse Eisenberg

by Oliver Lyttelton
August 10, 2011 1:01 AM
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Israeli-born writer-director Oren Moverman isn't just the owner of one of the best bald heads this side of Greg Mottola,, he's also becoming one of the most in-demand screenwriters around. Having gotten early credits on the likes of "Jesus' Son," "Married Life" and Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There," Moverman broke out with his 2009 directorial debut "The Messenger," which saw him, co-writer Alessandro Camon and star Woody Harrelson all nominated for Oscars. His follow-up "Rampart" is one of our most eagerly anticipated films at Toronto this year, and he's taken a number of high-profile screenwriting jobs of late, including biopics of Kurt Cobain and, more recently, Brian Wilson.

But his latest gig might be his biggest to date. Deadline report that Moverman has signed up with heavyweight Scott Rudin to pen the script for "The Terrorist Search Engine," which will tell the story of Evan Kohlmann, a youthful and sometimes controversial counter-terrorism expert profiled in a New York Magazine article not long ago. Kohlmann began working with the F.B.I. as a consultant when barely into his twenties, leading to the nickname "the Doogie Howser of Terrorism," and has gone on to a career as a professional witness, leading to accusations of scaremongering and even contributing to miscarriages of justice.

Rudin's hoping to recapture some of his magic from "The Social Network" on the film; as reported when the project was first revealed, it's being designed as a starring vehicle for that film's lead, Jesse Eisenberg. Moverman is a strong choice for the film, and interestingly, while his current deal only covers the script, he is writing with the intention of directing the film himself -- something we suspect may depend on the reception of "Rampart" in Toronto next month.

All in all, this is a pretty exciting project right now, marking another interesting project for Eisenberg who's lined up work with Woody Allen, Louis Leterrier and, as of last week, Richard Ayoade, and we hope it has a trouble-free trip to the screen. There's no word on when it'll hit theaters, but we imagine it's jumped up Moverman's priority list, so it could well be before cameras some time next year.

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