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A CASE OF TOO MANY CHEFS?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Will moviegoers glut themselves on a double serving of the true-life tragedy of Alexander “Sasha” Litvinenko, the KGB agent-turned-superspy who suffered a hideous death last November after dining on sushi containing polonium-210? Possibly so, if both Warner Bros. and Columbia follow through with plans to fast-track competing versions of the same raw-deal tale. (Litvinenko is shown above as a youth in the Soviet Union and during his final days in London.)

The Warner Bros. project, "Sasha's Story: The Life and Death of a Russian Spy," is based on a Doubleday book being written by Alan Cowell, the New York Times bureau chief who has covered the story extensively for The Times. It’s extremely likely that Johnny Depp, whose Infinitum Nihil production company is partnered with Warner Bros., will play the bigger-than-life character who, on his deathbed, accused Vladimir Putin of plotting his murder.


 


While the people at Columbia will not have the pleasure of Johnny Depp’s company on their Litvinenko take, they will surely be working with solid pros, starting at the top with director Michael Mann, and including Marina Litvinenko, the former spy’s widow, and Alex Goldfarb, her collaborator on “Death of a Dissident,” a book scheduled to be published by Free Press, a Simon & Schuster subsidiary, in May.

No word on who’ll play Litvinenko in “Death of a Dissident.” But the names of Tom Cruise and Sacha Baron Cohen do flutter to mind.

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