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Lionsgate to adapt Vanity Fair article about release of US hostages as drama

L-R: Adam Ciralsky, Alexi Hawley and Gene Klein

LA-based Lionsgate Television has optioned journalist Adam Ciralsky’s June 2024 Vanity Fair article about the release of American hostages for drama series development and attached The Rookie showrunner Alexi Hawley.

The Envoy will follow one fictionalised hostage scenario per season and will be inspired by the article, titled Take No Prisoners, which provides an in-depth look at the US government’s commitment to freeing hostages.

In the article, Ciralsky details a year spent with Roger Carstens, the point man for freeing US detainees held by figures like Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro.

Ciralsky witnessed negotiations, interviewed dozens of officials and was present for successful and unsuccessful hostage recovery missions.

Hawley has been named as creator, with his Perfectman Pictures attached to produce the scripted series alongside P3 Media. Ciralsky and Gene Klein will executive produce under P3.

Furthermore, an upcoming feature documentary from P3, also titled Take No Prisoners, focuses on Washington’s efforts to free Americans held hostage abroad.

The Envoy comes after Ciralsky and Klein teamed up with Hawley and Lionsgate Television on espionage series The Recruit, which launched on Netflix in late 2022 and was renewed for a second season last year.

Hawley created the Lionsgate Television series The Rookie, which was recently renewed for its seventh season at ABC.

The Envoy marks the latest high-profile project that Lionsgate Television has put into development, including a series based on this year’s gambling scandal surrounding LA Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani and the first English-language series adaptation of Park Chan-wook’s acclaimed Korean horror film Oldboy.

“It’s an honour to create a show based on Adam’s riveting article, fictionalising the high-stakes, exhaustive and emotional efforts to bring America’s hostages home,” said Hawley.

“In just the past few days, we’ve seen this piece resonate with Vanity Fair readers globally. We’ve assembled a top-tier creative team to bring audiences a series inspired by the team that has impacted the lives of numerous hostages,” added Scott Herbst, executive VP and head of scripted development at Lionsgate Television.

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