Spielberg interested in Matt Helm; is a faithful adaptation possible?

Variety reported on July 29 that Steven Spielberg was interested in directing a Matt Helm movie.

An excerpt: Spielberg’s camp said he is attached to produce, but it’s unclear if he’s going to direct. Clearly, Spielberg is excited about the project again after the rewrite that Paul Attanasio delivered last week.

A day later, reports on various web sites said Spielberg would only produce, not direct, such a movie.

In any case, this has gotten fans of Donald Hamilton’s 27 Helm novels, published between 1960 and 1993, wondering whether a faithful movie might get made.

The four Helm movies of the 1960s with Dean Martin were nominally based on the books and took an escapist bent. The trailer of the second film, Murderers’ Row demonstrates what we mean:

To get an idea of what a faithful Helm movie would be like, well, Helm would be played a lot like the Liam Neeson character in Taken:

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