Matt Helm movie project resurfaces, Deadline says


Illustration of Matt Helm on the back cover of the first edition of The Wrecking Crew, the second Helm novel.

The Matt Helm movie project that has been kicking around Paramount for years has resurfaced, according to Deadline: Hollywood.

The latest version of the project has Bradley Cooper attached to star, and Tom Shepherd hired to write a script, the entertainment news website reported.

“George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are attached as executive producers, and Steven Spielberg is involved in some capacity,” Deadline said.

Fans of Donald Hamilton’s original novels have long wanted to see a serious version of Helm. Four spoofs starring Dean Martin and loosely based on Hamilton novels were made in the 1960s. Helm was also turned into a private eye in a short-lived series with Tony Franciosa in 1975.

In the novels, Helm was a “counter assassin” and told in the first person. They were a mix of Mickey Spillane (in terms of tone) but often had plots as fanciful as Ian Fleming’s.

Hamilton penned 28 Helm novels — 27 were published from 1960 to 1993, while the Hamilton family has held on to the unpublished 28th in case a movie got made. Hamilton died in 2006.

Whether anything comes of this effort remains to be seen.

4 Responses

  1. This excites me Bill! I hope it’s true and they play it straight. Oddly enough, Four for Texas was on TCM today, and on their on demand app for the next week, featuring Dean Martin and Victor Bueno, as well as Bond alums Ursula Andress, Yaphet Kotto, (sort of)Anita Ekberg, and Frank Moonraker Sinatra.

  2. If anything comes up this latest project, I’ll be there to check it out.

  3. I wonder if the time is right for a straighter version of ‘Matt Helm’ . A character who tears off women’s clothes in seedy hotel rooms and makes light of his ex-wife’s rape does not sound like ideal movie material in a post-Weinstein world.

  4. I have wished for nearly 50 years that a serious MATT HELM movie would be made. It is a shame no one has made at least one good movie from Hamilton’s excellent books.

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