Book On Canadian World War II Spy Winthrop Bell Being Developed As Feature Film; Wildling Pictures & ‘See For Me’s Adam Yorke Attached
Toronto-based Wildling Pictures has optioned ‘Cracking the Nazi Code‘, a historical spy story from author and philosophy professor Jason Bell, and has attached Adam Yorke (See For Me, Bunker Burger) to develop it for the big screen.
Screenwriter Yorke is best known for Canadian thriller See For Me, which he co-wrote and co-produced. The film premiered at Tribeca in 2021 and was a major seller for Elle Driver. It was released in the U.S. by IFC Midnight, as we first revealed in August 2021.
‘Cracking the Nazi Code’ tells the story of Bell, a spy whose work is only just being recognized, almost six decades after his death. Known as the MI6 secret agent A12, he was among the first to understand the threat posed by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
The book begins in 1919 with Bell’s time as an MI6 operative, telling the story of how he evaded gunfire and shook off pursuers to break open an emerging Nazi conspiracy in the wake of the end of World War I. It then jumps to 1939, the year World War II broke out, and shows how Bell used his espionage expertize to force the convoluted beginnings of the conflict.
Writer Jason Bell taught in Germany at the University of Göttingen, Winthrop Bell’s alma mater, and was the first scholar granted access to his namesake’s classified espionage papers.
“This unique book tells the story of Winthrop Bell’s incredible, life-saving work, which alerted world leaders of Hitler’s plan,” said Matt Code, Producer and President at Wildling Pictures. “We were drawn to the book by the opportunity to tell a Canadian spy story and thrilled to find a story spanning multiple decades and unravelling little known parts of history both in Canada and the World.
“Jason Bell’s recount portrays the fundamental influence this work had on the events of the Second World War, and at this stage in the development, we look forward to finding the right partners to bring this important story to the screen.”
Wildling’s title include Young Werther from José Avelino Gilles Corbett Lourenço, starring Alison Pill, Douglas Booth, Iris Apatow and Patrick J. Adams. It’s currently in post-production. Also on the slate is comedy Suze from Linsey Stewart and Dane Clark, starring Michaela Watkins and Charlie Gillespie and set for release in 2024.
Jason Bell is represented by Nick Mullendore, Vertical Ink Agency (literary) & Jonathan Levin, and Sustainable Imagination (film/TV). Yorke, who is also writing and directing Wildling feature film Phreaker, is represented by The Characters Talent Agency and Heroes and Villains Entertainment.