spy vs. spy

FX Throws Open the Latch for Lee Daniels’s The Spook Who Sat by the Door Pilot

Lee Daniels. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images for TIME

Our thirst for spy dramas will never be quenched, no matter how many covert operations are shaken, not stirred, into our daily viewing habits. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lee Daniels is the latest creator to throw his hat (the hat is also a grappling hook and a concussion mine) into the ring with a TV adaptation of The Spook Who Sat by the Door, the pilot of which has just been ordered by FX. Based on author Sam Greenlee’s 1969 novel of the same name, The Spook follows the adventures of Dan Freeman, the fictional first Black CIA officer. In the novel, after being hired as the organization’s token Black employee, Freeman takes his intelligence training back to his hometown of Chicago, readies guerrilla fighters, and masterminds a revolution.

Raising Dion’s Leigh Dana Jackson will write the script and serve as showrunner, while The First Purge’s Gerard McMurray is set to direct the pilot, as well as executive produce alongside Daniels. “The Spook Who Sat by the Door was my dad’s favorite book,” the Empire creator said in a press release Monday. “He’d be so proud that I’m doing this and even prouder that I’m doing this with Gerard and Dana — two bold and brilliant Black storytellers.” The book has previously been adapted into a 1973 film starring Lawrence Cook, directed by Ivan Dixon and written by Sam Greenlee and Melvin Clay.

FX Orders Lee Daniels’s The Spook Who Sat by the Door Pilot