Spy vs. Spy was created by a Cuban exile in the middle of the Cold War, but the appeal of the iconic MAD magazine strip is universal. Two enemies – one dressed all in black, the other all in white – eternally fight each other, using bombs and booby traps. It doesn’t initially seem like film material… but by George, this is Hollywood, and anything is possible! Thus: EW has confirmed that Warner Bros. is currently developing a film adaptation of Spy vs. Spy, to be produced by David Koepp, Brian Grazer, and Ron Howard, with Howard also set to direct. The film has not been officially greenlit, although with those names behind the project, Spy vs. Spy is probably just waiting on a finished script.
Here’s the thing: the “story” of Spy vs. Spy is so basic that the film could literally be about anything. It could be a lighthearted comedy, or a darkhearted comedy, or a gritty look at the Cold War, or a movie about aliens for some reason, or even a documentary about the life of Kim Philby. Screenwriter John Kamps (Zathura, Ghost Town) is currently on the project, but to help him along, let’s hear some solid elevator pitches for Spy vs. Spy. Here’s a few to get you started from your pals at EW:
Spy vs. Spy Origins: Brothers’ Reaper – A prequel which reveals that the two Spies are actually brothers. The film builds to the tragic event that turned them into eternal enemies, which involves the Cuban Missile Crisis for some reason.
The Spies Who Came In From The Cold – A world-weary Russian triple agent and an equally world-weary American quintuple agent chase each other back and forth across the Iron Curtain, circa 1956.
Spy vs. Spy vs. Zombies – Two mortal enemies have to join forces against the undead for some reason.
From Keith Staskiewicz: Spy vs. Spy – Harold and Marilyn Spy have been married for five years, but one day they realize they just can’t live with each other anymore. The ensuing custody battle takes a major toll on both of them, as well as their six-year-old son.
From Jeff Labrecque: Spy vs. Spies Like Us – Two over-the-hill Saturday Night Live comedians are sent to Beijing to star in a third-rate stage production of The Three Amigos. But when the American ambassador’s wife, played by Donna Dixon, falls for one of the actors and her husband goes missing, the two comics fall way over their head into the world of espionage.
From Kate Ward: Spy vs. I Spy – An international assassin gets a headache looking at his children’s puzzle books.
Those are our pitches, PopWatchers, now tell us yours! Remember: Franchise potential is a must.
Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich