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Charlize Theron Boards Spy Thriller ‘Need to Know’ at Universal

Variety logo Variety 2/22/2017 Dave McNary
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Charlize Theron will produce and star in the spy thriller “Need to Know” for Universal Pictures.

The studio has acquired the movie rights to the upcoming novel by Karen Cleveland, who has worked as a CIA analyst. The yet-to-be published book centers on a wife and mother who works as a CIA analyst who discovers a threat to herself and her family while searching for a Russian sleeper cell in the U.S.

Theron will produce with Beth Kono and A.J. Dix through their Denver & Delilah Films production company. Universal’s Kristin Lowe will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

Theron’s upcoming films include Universal’s “The Fate of the Furious,” opening April 14, and Focus’ spy thriller “The Coldest City,” launching July 28. Theron is producing and starring in “The Coldest City,” with James McAvoy, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella, and John Goodman. David Leitch, who co-directed “John Wick,” is directing.

She’s also starring in the Jason Reitman’s upcoming comedy “Tully” with Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass and Ron Livingston. That film began shooting last fall in Vancouver and has not been set up at a studio.

WME brokered the deal with The Gernert Company’s David Gernert, who reps Cleveland. Theron is repped by WME and Hanson Jacobson. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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