A Hollywood Announcement: Our Article on the Nazi Colonel Who Became a Mossad Hitman … to be a Movie

[This is the announcement released in Hollywood by a public relations agency for the production company, Studio 8.]

A MOST DANGEROUS MAN

Studio 8 has finalized the deal for A MOST DANGEROUS MAN.  The film is based on the article ‘The Strange Case of a Nazi Who Became an Israeli Hitman’ written by journalists Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman for the New York based weekly Forward. Raviv and Melman also have a book proposal based on the story.

 — William Brookfield & Oded Ailam are attached to co-write the screenplay. William most notably adapted KIDNAPPING MR. HEINEKEN for Informant Media, directed by Daniel Alfredson (director of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO Swedish film series) starring Anthony Hopkins and Sam Worthington.

Oded Ailam worked in the Mossad for more than 22 years. At the time of his retirement, Ailam served as the Deputy Head of Global Operations. Prior to attaining this position, he served in various other capacities in the organization such as the chief of the Counter Terrorism Center.

— William Brookfield and Oded Ailam are represented by Camille McCurry at United Agents and Echo Lake Management.

— Dan Raviv is represented by Russell Galen at Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. Yossi Melman is represented by Asaf Carmel Associates.  Raviv and Melman’s non-fiction books include the national best seller EVERY SPY A PRINCE and the current SPIES AGAINST ARMAGEDDON.

Tanya Seghatchian is attached to produce for Studio 8, alongside John Middleton and Alex Foster at Middleton Entertainment and Amotz Zakai at Echo Lake Entertainment will executive produce.

 Jon Silk, Chris Goldberg and Rishi Rajani are overseeing for Studio 8.

  True Story, Action, Thriller genres

Logline: The true story of Otto Skorzeny, a high ranking Nazi special forces soldier and Hitler confidant who was considered by the Allies to be “the most dangerous man in Europe”.  After the war, Skorzeny was located and recruited by an intrepid Mossad agent to work with him as a double agent to eliminate Nazi rocket scientists working on a secret Egyptian rocket program.

– Tanya Seghatchian was a co-producer and then executive producer on the first four HARRY POTTER films, and produced MY SUMMER OF LOVE. She was later appointed Head of the Development & Film Funds at the BFI/UK Film Council. During her time there, she worked on BRIGHT STAR, THE IRON LADY, SHAME, THE KING’S SPEECH and UNDER THE SKIN. After overseeing the merging of the Council with the British Film Institute, Tanya struck a first-look deal with Studio 8. She most recently executive produced Peter Morgan & Stephen Daldry’s upcoming Netflix series, The Crown, for Sony Pictures Television.

— Formed in 2016, The Middleton Media Group is the Production Company of John Powers Middleton and Alex Foster, who serves as President of Production.  In addition to partnering with Roy Lee’s Vertigo Entertainment, Middleton also recently launched The Affleck/Middleton Project (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA) with Casey Affleck.  Middleton served as an executive producer on Spike Lee’s OLDBOY, RUN ALL NIGHT, POLTERGEIST, THE BOY and the upcoming films, DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS, THE STAND and DEATH NOTE remake, as well as SLEEPLESS on which Alex Foster is also an executive producer and the TV series, BATES MOTEL.  Middleton was also a co-producer on THE LEGO MOVIE and associate producer on the upcoming film, RINGS.

— Studio 8 is a filmmaker driven company focused on building longstanding relationships with filmmakers in order to develop, produce and acquire both potential tentpoles and prestige pictures.  Studio 8 is funded in partnership with the Chinese investment management firm Fosun Group and with Sony Pictures Entertainment, which will distribute up to six films worldwide annually.  Studio 8 has secured $1 billion in financing.  The company’s initial film projects include SOLUTREAN, which is currently in post-production, WHITE BOY RICK, which is currently in pre-production with Yann Demange directing, and Ang Lee’s BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK (November 11, 2016) in partnership with Sony’s TriStar Pictures.

October 28, 2016

Our Revelation: The Mossad Recruited a Famous Nazi Colonel — Who Became a Hit-Man for Israel

[This is the beginning of our article, written for The Forward newspaper, revealing the Israel used Otto Skorzeny as an agent — and what the famous Nazi Waffen-SS colonel did for the Jewish State.]

On September 11, 1962, a German scientist vanished. The basic facts were simple: Heinz Krug had been at his office, and he never came home.+

Skorzeny Special Missions book coverThe only other salient detail known to police in Munich was that Krug commuted to Cairo frequently. He was one of dozens of Nazi rocket experts who had been hired by Egypt to develop advanced weapons for that country.+

One Israeli newspaper surprisingly claimed to have the explanation: The Egyptians kidnapped Krug to prevent him from doing business with Israel.+

But that somewhat clumsy leak was an attempt by Israel to divert investigators from digging too deeply into the case — not that they ever would have found the 49-year-old scientist.+

We can now report — based on interviews with former Mossad officers and with Israelis who have access to the Mossad’s archived secrets from half a century ago — that Krug was murdered as part of an Israeli espionage plot to intimidate the German scientists working for Egypt.+

Moreover, the most astounding revelation is the Mossad agent who fired the fatal gunshots: Otto Skorzeny, one of the Israeli spy agency’s most valuable assets, was a former lieutenant colonel in Nazi Germany’s Waffen-SS and one of Adolf Hitler’s personal favorites among the party’s commando leaders. The Führer, in fact, awarded Skorzeny the army’s most prestigious medal, the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, for leading the rescue operation that plucked his friend Benito Mussolini out from the hands of his captors.+Skorzeny scar book cover

Key to understanding the story is that the Mossad had made stopping German scientists then working on Egypt’s rocket program one of its top priorities. For several months before his death, in fact, Krug, along with other Germans who were working in Egypt’s rocket-building industry, had received threatening messages. When in Germany, they got phone calls in the middle of the night, telling them to quit the Egyptian program. When in Egypt, some were sent letter bombs — and several people were injured by the explosions.+

Krug, as it happens, was near the top of the Mossad’s target list.

[Read the rest at: http://forward.com/news/336943/ht/]

April 1, 2016

“There Was Something Sexy about How the Mossad Approached the Nazi Colonel — Like Wife Swapping or a Couples Game”

Dan Raviv, a CBS News correspondent who is co-author of Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars, was interviewed on “The World,” a radio co-production of PRI and the BBC, by host Marco Werman.

Their 5-minute chat included a retelling of the “sexy” recruitment of former Waffen-SS Colonel Otto Skorzeny by the Mossad in 1962 in Madrid.

PRI banner The WorldRaviv and Yossi Melman, in an article for Forward, revealed this week that Skorzeny became an agent — and even an assassin — for Israel’s intelligence agency.

Here is the audio, from “The World”:

March 30, 2016

BBC and British Papers Fascinated by (Our) Revelation: A Famous Nazi was an Agent and Assassin for the Mossad

Our article appeared in the Forward weekly newspaper this past weekend, and on-line (click here).

We have learned that Otto Skorzeny — a daring commando officer in the Waffen-SS who was a favorite of Adolf Hitler — was recruited by the Mossad in 1962 and carried out assignments for Israeli intelligence.

Why would he do that?  And didn’t the Israelis feel moral qualms about employing a Nazi — to pursue, locate, and even kill Nazis?

That issue fascinates many in the global media.

Click here for Yossi Melman’s interview with BBC World Service’s Dan Damon — heard in the 5 a.m. hour across America on Wednesday.

Here is another of the interviews we have done since the weekend: This one, on BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight:

March 30, 2016

Israel’s Mossad Recruited a Famous Nazi to Find and Attack Other Nazis: A Tale of Media Repeats

This past weekend, the weekly Forward newspaper — famous as a progressive Jewish news source for many decades — ran our article about Otto Skorzeny, who was one of Hitler’s favorite military officers.  We reveal that during his postwar years living in Spain and Ireland, he worked for Israel’s Mossad.

For some reason, he seemed to take pleasure in being a secret agent for the Jewish state’s famed and feared spy agency.

Our article (click here) suggests some reasons he would do it — as well as discussing the debate within the Mossad about the morality of employing a Nazi.

Meanwhile, we were surprised (and generally pleased) to see our story repeated and reported in news media around the globe.  But some of the repeats gave credit to the Israeli newspaper (and website) Haaretz.

It turns out that Haaretz has an arrangement with Forward to run some of that New York-based newspaper’s features.

On Tuesday, the German newspaper Bild told our story — with our exclusive details about Otto Skorzeny and his Mossad handlers — but cited only the Israeli paper Haaretz.

Come to think of it, Bild didn’t see fit to mention our names — or Forward.

Oh — and the respected British newspaper, the Daily Telegraph?  They also didn’t notice, apparently, on the Haaretz site that the story was from Forward.com.   They just credited Haaretz, as though that Israeli paper unearthed this historical nugget.

Nor did the Telegraph see fit to mention our names.

That’s part of how the modern media’s echo chamber works, in circulating, repeating, and sometimes distorting or amplifying stories.

March 29, 2016


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