Scott Rudin Wants Jesse Eisenberg To Play The Doogie Howser Of Terrorism

By Sean O'Connell 2011-05-12 11:07:20discussion comments
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Having just earned his first Oscar nomination for playing a cold and calculating Internet entrepreneur, you would think Jesse Eisenberg would distance himself from any acting project having to do with the Web or ripped-from-the-headlines controversies. But if it’s The Social Network producer Scott Rudin who comes calling, I guess it’s in Eisenberg’s best interests to listen.

The pitch, according to New York Magazine, revolves around the story of true-life counterterrorism expert witness Evan Kohlmann. Known in FBI circles as “the Doogie Howser of Terrorism,” Kohlmann tracks jihadists via the Internet, and has established himself as an expert witness in several federal terrorism court cases. His work and the people opposed to it were recently profiled in New York Magazine by journalist Wesley Wang in an article entitled “The Terrorist Search Engine.”

Enter Rudin, who has optioned the article and intends to set it up as a starring vehicle for Eisenberg. There is a grey area surrounding Kohlmann, who may be, as some have accused, “working in the ‘guilty-verdict industry” in an attempt to rack up victories against alleged terrorists. And it’s in this murky narrative that a film like this could thrive.

And do you know who’d be perfect for a gig like this? David Fincher. He could infuse this premise with the paranoid undertones that colored such masterpieces as Zodiac and Seven. Heck, why not get the whole Social Network band back together, hiring Aaron Sorkin to adapt Wang’s article into a screenplay and finding roles for Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer and Andrew Garfield. It’s wishful thinking, I know, but the story idea sounds interesting enough, and with the right people in place, Rudin could have yet another massive hit on his hands.
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