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Amma Asante tapped to direct Walden Media’s ‘Billion Dollar Spy’

Walden Media and Weed Road today announced that BAFTA award winner Amma Asante will direct the upcoming film adaptation of David E. Hoffman’s THE BILLION DOLLAR SPY.

Based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, David E. Hoffman, BILLION DOLLAR SPY tells the riveting true story of an ordinary man who became the Pentagon’s most valuable spy during the last years of the Cold War. Despite numerous rejections by a cautious CIA on the lookout for undercover KGB agents, Adolf G. Tolkachev, the chief designer at the USSR’s Research Institute of Radio Engineering, handed over tens of thousands of pages of highly classified documents to the US. He quickly became the crown jewel of the CIA’s spy network, though in return, his greatest ask was for gifts for his son. For years, Tolkachev and his handler successfully eluded the KGB in its own backyard, until the day came when a shocking betrayal put them all at risk.

Asante is a British writer-director who has made a name for herself as one of the leading female directors in Hollywood. Her credits include the 2004 feature film, A WAY OF LIFE, which garnered her 17 international awards. The release of BELLE in 2014 marked her second feature film, which was greeted with widespread acclaim, and earned Asante a spot as one of CNN’s Leading Women of 2014. Asante’s most recent credits include A UNITED KINGDOM starring David Oyelowo (Selma) and Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”), and the upcoming British romance drama war film WHERE HANDS TOUCH, starring Amandla Stenberg (“Hunger Games”), and George MacKay (“Captain Fantastic”). In 2017, Asante was honoured with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her contribution to film.

“We are so proud to have Amma at the helm of this prestigious project,” Frank Smith, president and CEO of Walden Media, said. “She is an incredibly talented director who will bring her unique vision and experience to this film.”

The film, written by Ben August (“Remember”) will be produced by Walden Media and Akiva Goldsman. Greg Lessans of Weed Road will serve as Executive Producer and Naia Cucukov will oversee the project for Walden Media.

Walden’s recent films include the box-office hit WONDER, which recently eclipsed $300 million globally and the animated feature, THE STAR.

About Walden Media

Walden Media specializes in entertainment for the whole family, creating movies, books and television series that spark the imagination and delight all generations. A subsidiary of the Anschutz Film Group, Walden Media movies include adaptations of notable books, compelling biographies and thrilling accounts of historical events. The company’s films are entertaining and commercial, while also telling stories that are inspirational, aspirational and explorational. Past award-winning films include: “Wonder”, “A Dog’s Purpose”, “The Chronicles of Narnia” franchise, the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” franchise, “Nim’s Island,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “Bridge to Terabithia,” “Holes,” “Amazing Grace,” and the Sundance Audience Prize Winning documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman.’”

About Weed Road Pictures

Weed Road Pictures is a production company founded by producer, director and Oscar-winning writer Akiva Goldsman. Weed Road has produced both critically acclaimed and commercially successful titles including Deep Blue Sea, Constantine, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, I Am Legend, Hancock, Fair Game and Lone Survivor. Weed Road will next debut its live-action series Titans, co-executive produced by Berlanti Productions and DC Entertainment, for a new DC digital platform in 2018. Upcoming productions will also include a recently-announced Ology film series for Paramount, based on the popular book franchise, and an Extreme Universe film series for Netflix, based on the comic book characters by Rob Liefeld.

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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