Story of Mossad’s ties with high-ranking Nazi to become TV show

American filmmaker Doug Liman has signed on to direct a limited-run television series based on a nonfiction book by an award-winning Israeli journalist that, in part, details the history of targeted killings by the Mossad spy agency.

As described in Ronen Bergman’s “Rise and Kill First,” the series will track the Mossad spy agency’s partnership with former Nazi Waffen SS lieutenant colonel Otto Skorzeny, which was formed to sabotage the plan of Egyptian ruler Gamal Abdel Nasser to hire ex-Nazi scientists to develop a missile program that could pose an existential threat to Israel.

“This is the ultimate spy story, replete with the original James Bond, a nascent Mossad and Israel facing its extinction,” Liman told Variety.

Liman, who is Jewish, directed such popular movies as “Bourne Identity,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “Edge of Tomorrow.”

He will work alongside New York-based production company Story Syndicate, headed by Dan Cogan and Liz Garbus, which produced the acclaimed “Britney vs. Spears”; and Israeli production company Abot Hameiri, headed by Guy Hameiri and Eitan Abot, which is behind the Israeli series “Shtisel.”

“It is an extraordinary spy-thriller and character drama, and we’re so excited to partner with Doug and Guy to bring it to life,” Cogan and Garbus said.

Gamal Abdel Nasser, president of Egypt, addresses a huge crowd gathered in Republic Square, Cairo, Feb. 22, 1958, from a balcony of the National Union building, after he was elected the first president of the United Arab Republic (AP Photo)

Hameiri told Variety that he was looking forward to adapting one of the most “controversial and thrilling stories in Israel’s history.”

“It’s incredibly exciting to be working with Doug and Dan who share an irresistible vision for this project and are the perfect creative team to bring this dramatic story to life,” he added.

Read more: How Israel’s leaders use targeted killings to try to ‘stop history’

Skorzeny was a close associate of Adolf Hitler. He led the Gran Sasso raid in September 1943, a successful rescue of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini after the Grand Council of Fascism had imprisoned him.

Skorzeny later earned the nickname “the most dangerous man in Europe.”

In the 1960s, Mossad established its relationship with the former senior Nazi officer after Nasser boasted of his long-range rockets.

“Rise and Kill First” was widely acclaimed upon its release, becoming Economist Book of the Year and the 2018 National Jewish Book Award.

You’re a dedicated reader

That’s why we started the Times of Israel ten years ago – to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So now we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall. But as the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.

For as little as $6 a month you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREEas well as accessing exclusive content Available only to Times of Israel Community members.

Thank you,
David Horovitz, Founding Editor of The Times of Israel

Join Our Community Join Our Community Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.