Paul Greengrass has signed on to direct political thriller Night Of Camp David, which is in the works at Universal. Based on Fletcher Knebel‘s 1965 bestseller, it follows the President of the United States as he becomes increasingly paranoid. Fortunately this is a work of fiction with no real-life parallels.
Jed Mecurio (Bodyguard) will adapt the book, and Greengrass will produce alongside longtime collaborator Gregory Goodman. The two have previously worked on films such as Captain Phillips and 22 July.
The book revolves around Iowa Senator Jim MacVeagh, who is summoned to Camp David by President Mark Hollenbach. MacVeagh is expected to become Hollenbach’s next Vice President, but becomes concerned when Hollenbach shows signs of intense paranoia. He erratically explains his desire to develop a closer relationship with the Soviet Union, and attempts to cut ties with American allies in Europe.
Hollenbach also believes the American news media are conspiring against him. Unfortunately, MacVeagh is the only person who notices that Hollenbach’s mind is crumbling, as the presidential advisors and politicians he attempts to warn only ignore him. The sole person in possession of evidence of Hollenbach’s mental decline is his mistress, Rita.
Night Of Camp David was re-published in 2018 thanks to its clear contemporary similarities, and it’s easy to see why Universal saw potential in a film adaptation. Greengrass is a solid choice, as while his films usually reside in the action genre, they’ve always had a political edge to them.
Green Zone documents life in Baghdad during the invasion of Iraq, and his debut film Resurrected follows a soldier who is presumed dead and left behind during the Falklands War but is accused of desertion when he reappears seven weeks after the war ends.
We’ll see whether Greengrass tackles the novel with his trademark handheld style, or whether he’ll shoot it more like his most recent effort, News Of The World. It will be especially interesting to see how Universal markets the film when it eventually arrives.