Matt Helm project still kicking around at Paramount, THR says

Matt Helm: still waiting for another shot at the big screen

Paramount is still interested in a serious Matt Helm movie, according to Web site of The Hollywood Reporter.

In A STORY THIS WEEK, there was this nugget from an interview with Adam Goodman, president of Paramount Film Group:

Goodman faces his share of challenges as Paramount looks to make up for the defection of Marvel movies to Disney and the possible end of its relationship with DreamWorks Animation in December. Sitting down with THR recently in his spacious, bright corner office on the Melrose lot, he revealed that Tom Cruise likely is close to signing a deal to star in a Top Gun sequel and that Ehren Kruger has returned to write Transformers 4, even as Shia LaBeouf exits. He also disclosed that he’s moving ahead with franchise hopefuls Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Matt Helm, Earthseed, J.J. Abrams’ Micronauts and Without Remorse. (emphasis added)

No additional details about the Helm project, to be based on Donald Hamilton’s 27 published novels from 1960 to 1993. This is essentially the first whisper of any movement in three years. Back AT THAT TIME, there was talk that Steven Spielberg might be interested in producing, Gary Ross in directing and Bradley Cooper in starring.

None of that, obviously, happened. Spielberg has had multiple movies subsequently while Ross had a mega-hit with The Hunger Games. Cooper’s name surfaced as, for a time, the leading contender to play Napoleon Solo in a movie version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. but that evaporated in the latest chapter of the U.N.C.L.E. curse.

Prospects for the first Helm movie since the four Dean Martin comedies of the 1960s? Personally, we suspect the new Titan Books editions of Hamilton’s novels will be out long before any film.

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Matt Helm movie update

The News In Film Web site reports that Gary Ross is close to being named to direct a new Matt Helm movie.

An excerpt:

According to The Playlist, George Clooney and Jon Hamm were considered for the title character, but eliminated for separate reasons. Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, The A-Team) is the front runner for the lead. That guy must have a phenomenal agent, he’s popping up in contention for everything. He’s not exactly the modern Dean Martin, the star of the campy 60’s movies.

The Playlist refers to another Web site which RAN THIS STORY.

In any case, Ross has directed movies such as Seabiscuit and Pleasantville. This is the first mention that Bradley Cooper is supposedly the leading contenter to play Matt Helm, the no-nonsense counter-assassin created by author Donald Hamilton who saw five of his Helm novels adapted (loosely) into four movies between 1966 and 1969 starring Dean Martin.

We’ll see how all this turns out.