Bradley Cooper In Warner Bros Deal For “Dark Invasion”
By MIKE FLEMING JR| Monday January 14, 2013 @ 7:40pm EST

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has just closed a high-six-figure deal to acquire the upcoming Howard Blum book Dark Invasion and will develop it as a star vehicle for Silver Linings Playbook‘s Oscar-nominated Bradley Cooper. Cooper and his 22nd & Indiana banner will produce with John Lesher and his Le Grisbi banner and Adam Kassan. The nonfiction book will be published by Crown/Random on 9/11/13. The date is significant, as the book is about what is considered the first attacks on U.S. soil since its formative years.

The book is a true spy thriller set in 1915 when Germany, with war raging in Europe and the U.S. still neutral, decides to send their Secret Service to America to wage a covert war to keep this country from helping the Allies. The Kaiser’s spies bomb factories, sabotage ships, shoot JP Morgan Jr (a financier of the Allies), bomb the U.S. Capitol Building, and set up an anthrax lab six miles from the White House. Cooper is attached to play NYPD Capt Tom Tunney, who’s tasked with establishing the team that will bring these German spies to justice. CIA considers Tunney to be its first head of homeland security, according to the book.

Deal was brokered by CAA and Janklow & Nesbit. CAA also reps Cooper. Blum’s last book, The Floor Of Heaven, is at Fox 2000 and Chernin Entertainment, and has a script by Scott Silver.

Fox 2000, Peter Chernin Acquire Gold Rush Tale ‘The Floor Of Heaven’
By MIKE FLEMING | Monday March 21, 2011 @ 1:17pm EDT

EXCLUSIVE: Fox 2000 has acquired screen rights to The Floor Of Heaven, a non-fiction book by Howard Blum that will be published April 26 by Crown/Random House. Book is the fact-based story of Charlie Siringo, a cowboy who, after the taming of the Old West, became a Pinkerton detective. He’s drawn into a case takes him to the Yukon Gold Rush of 1897. George Carmack, whose early discovery of gold fueled the rush for riches, has been robbed of a fortune in heavy gold bars and Siringo tries to solve the crime. The film’s being done as a co-production between Chernin Entertainment and Fox 2000, with Chernin exec Dylan Clark running point with Fox 2000’s Carla Hacken. Deal was low against high six-figures. Blum last book, American Lightning, is being developed by Wind Dancer Productions. CAA made the deal.

The Lure of Gold: PW Talks with Howard Blum
By Amy Meng
Feb 21, 2011

Three very different men in the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush anchor Howard Blum’s tale of the last frontier,
The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the American West and the Yukon Gold Rush.

How did you first discover the story of Charlie, George, and Soapy?

I wish I could say I saw it all whole. I started out by wanting to write a western and to me the most interesting part of the West was its coming to an end—these men who were heroes in many ways had outlived their usefulness. While researching, I discovered Charlie Siringo’s books. He had this wonderful voice and talked about his escapades, solving something like 97 cases in four or five books. I saw this Alaska case, and then I came across the guys who were behind the robbery and that led me to Soapy Smith, which led me to George Carmack. All the pieces fell together to weave a tale that was bigger than one man, even bigger than three men.

Is that usually how nonfiction books come together for you?

The key is to know what the people are thinking—what they said and what they felt. If you’re writing a novel, you can make that up. [For nonfiction], you have to find primary sources. The way this worked was through Siringo’s books and Carmack’s letters, which were bought in a bookstore for $55, then donated to the University of Washington. Soapy Smith had a voluminous book written by his great-great-grandson that enabled me to write that with some authority. Once you have these first-person sources, the book comes together. You choose a point of view that will drive you through the story and can lead to a dramatic ending.

What do you find most appealing about the cultural myth of the Wild West?

The iconic values of the cowboys and the pioneers: wanting to live with adventure, wanting to do what’s right, the quest for justice, the sacrifices people made. That kind of self-sacrifice and indomitable spirit I hope pervades the book and shows that these men are flawed, but also heroes.

You say that during the gold rush people were “so squeezed by the economic hardships of the times that they were willing to do or try just about anything to fill their lives with the prospect of something better.” Do you think this relates to America today?

Very much so. The surprise hit of this season on cable TV is Gold Rush: Alaska. These are a bunch of guys who have no other option, so they’re off to Alaska to look for gold. When hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world went to the Yukon to look for gold, the original prospectors had already claimed most of it. These people were going to a country where there was nothing to be found. There are also the scams—the Soapy Smiths, the guys selling the gold to investors today. A whole bunch of Madoff-type schemes come up in tough economic times when people are trying to maximize return on their investments. The parallels are very dramatic. Gold has an almost atavistic lure. People feel it has a panacea effect.