It’s official–Gabriel Allon is coming to the small screen. Variety was the first to report that MGM TV has acquired the rights to Daniel Silva’s bestselling novel franchise (you can read their full article here).
This news has been a long time coming, and we reported last July that a potential deal was in the works. It was made clear back then, while speaking to our sources, that Silva was content waiting for a partner who would be respectful of the source material.
For fans, it should be refreshing that an author is being so protective of his work. Last year, C.J. Box announced that he pulled the rights back to his Joe Pickett series because the producers weren’t planning to stick to his stories. At the time, addressing readers in a Facebook post, Box said, “naming actors ‘Joe Pickett or ‘Marybeth’ or ‘Nate Romanowski’ and creating wholly new personalities and motivations for them in a faux-Wyoming location won’t cut it.”
That’s relevant to Silva’s situation because it would appear he circumvented such an issue by being patient and finding the right partner to bring his beloved characters to life on the small screen.
“For the fans of Gabriel Allon, I thank you for your patience. I always said I would wait for the right time and the right partner.” – Daniel Silva
Variety quoted Silva addressing his fans, saying, “For the fans of Gabriel Allon, I thank you for your patience. I always said I would wait for the right time and the right partner.” Both Variety and Deadline are reporting that Silva and his wife, Jamie Gangel (a producer with CNN), will serve as executive producers on the Gabriel Allon series, though little else is known about the project at this point.
Daniel Silva introduced Israeli spy (and famed art restorer) Gabriel Allon in The Kill Artist, which was first published in 2000. Originally set to be a standalone novel, Silva brought the fan-favorite intelligence officer back in 2002 for The English Assassin. As Silva’s legions of fans fell for Allon, the series quickly blossomed–and there was no looking back.
As of May 2017, Silva has written sixteen Allon novels, each one landing on the New York Times list–eight of them debuting as #1 bestsellers. His next novel, House of Spies, is said to pick up where last year’s The Black Widow left off, and will arrive in bookstores on July 11th.
While some fans may be split on whether they’d like to see Silva’s novels adapted for the small or big screen, we personally think a television series is the best way to go.
Whereas someone like Lee Child’s Jack Reacher–a violent nomad–is a good fit for film, Silva’s universe is rich and his characters are well-developed over time. Likewise, his stories usually have great depth to them, and it would be a shame to see things cut out to try and fit the story into a ninety-minute movie.
Speaking of Reacher, those movies never really lived up to the hype, each falling short of box office expectations. Some of that may have been due to fans’ anger at Tom Cruise being hired to portray the six-five Reacher on the big screen.
Either way, it bodes well for fans that Silva and his wife, whom the author frequently mentions in the Acknowledgment section of his novels for her help with each manuscript, have signed on to executive produce. The more involved they are, the more likely fans are to get an authentic Gabriel Allon experience–much like how Michael Connelly’s involvement with the Amazon-produced show Bosch has been a hit with diehard fans of the Bosch novels.
With this news, Silva joins fellow thriller authors Vince Flynn and Ted Bell, each of whom has struck major deals to have their respective characters brought to life in feature films. Flynn’s Mitch Rapp (portrayed by Dylan O’Brien) can be seen in the upcoming American Assassin movie from CBS Films, while Bell’s Alex Hawke series was snatched up by Paramount.
Again, in regards to Silva, few details are known at this time–including which actors may be on the short list to land what will undoubtedly be a highly-coveted role–but in the past fans have taken to social media to offer suggestions with one name turning up more than others: Eric Bana.
Bana, 48, actually played an Israeli assassin in Steven Spielberg’s 2005 film, Munich. Coincidentally, in the novel series, Gabriel Allon first began working for the Office (the name Silva uses for Israel’s Mossad) in the early 1970s when he was recruited by Ari Shamron to head-up Operation Wrath of God, which was put together by the Israelis to eliminate those responsible for killing the Israeli athletes during the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.
We’ll be reporting any and all new updates as more details become available, so be sure to check back. In the meantime, fans can pre-order House of Spies here!