Jesse Eisenberg's Terrorist Search Engine To Be Written By Oren Moverman

By Katey Rich 2011-08-09 21:42:46discussion comments
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Jesse Eisenberg has always made it pretty clear he didn't want to get stuck playing the same roles in the same kinds of movies; no matter how much you may think he's always just an awkward nebbish, he's always going somewhere different with it, whether an accidental post-apocalypse warrior in Zombieland or a pot-smoking, friend-betraying slacker in this weekend's 30 Minutes or Less. But, surprising us all yet again, back in May it seemed he was ready to revisit the same territory as his most critically acclaimed film, The Social Network. That movie's producer Scott Rudin wanted him to star in The Terrorist Search Engine, a based-on-a-true-story about a computer whiz who tracked terrorists via the Internet and became a federal witness in terrorism court cases. They called the guy the "Doogie Howser of Terrorism," which I suppose is only a slightly better title than Mark Zuckerberg's "I'm CEO, bitch."

Eisenberg is apparently still attached to the film, however loosely, and now we may know who will wind up as his director. Deadline reports that The Messenger writer/director Oren Moverman has been hired to write the screenplay, based on the New York Magazine article "The Terrorist Search Engine." Moverman apparently has "an eye toward directing," but his deal is only to write the script, so presumably Rudin can keep his options open in the meantime.

Moverman's next film Rampart, an LAPD cop drama that features his The Messenger stars Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster, is premiering at the Toronto Film Festival next month, and the writer-turned-director may be on the verge of building an even stronger reputation. That might be an excellent time for him to swoop in and snag the Terrorist Search Engine directing gig too-- but I suppose taking it one step at a time isn't a bad strategy either.
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