'The Execution': Murdered Journalist Jamal Khashoggi Will Be the Subject of a Film by 'Morbius' Director
In October of 2018, Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to get a marriage license and never walked out. That’s because inside the building, Khashoggi – who had been critical of the Saudi government and the crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman – was assassinated and dismembered by agents of the Saudi government. Now his story will be told in a feature film called The Execution, which is set to be directed by Daniel Espinosa, the filmmaker behind Sony’s upcoming Morbius movie starring Jared Leto.
Deadline reports that Good Films Collective has signed a deal with Espinosa to “develop to direct” a Jamal Khashoggi movie called The Execution, which “will explore how [Khashoggi’s assassination] happened, why it happened, and what happened in the aftermath.” Petter Skavlan, who wrote the Oscar-nominated 2012 sailing film Kon-Tiki and Brian De Palma’s 2019 police drama Domino, is writing the screenplay.
Espinosa popped on Hollywood’s radar after directing the slick 2010 Swedish thriller Snabba Cash (AKA Easy Money), which caught the eye of Martin Scorsese. (Scorsese “presented” a 2012 re-release of the movie to help get it in front of a wider audience.) Since then, Espinosa has directed the Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds movie Safe House, the Tom Hardy/Gary Oldman period piece Child 44, the “alien trapped aboard a spaceship” thriller Life, and Sony’s upcoming superhero movie Morbius.
Khashoggi was an internationally respected author and journalist, who also once appeared on an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s travel show Parts Unknown. His assassination left the world reeling, caused economic sanctions to be placed on Saudi Arabia, and resulted in an investigation which concluded that the Saudi government was responsible for the “premeditated extrajudicial execution” of the journalist. The fallout was extensive, including an episode of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj which was critical of Mohammed bin Salman being taken down by Netflix in Saudi Arabia months after it originally aired.
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