Thursday, February 23 , 2017, 5:57 am | Fair 45º


Controversial Memoir ‘Son of Hamas’ Coming to the Big Screen

Santa Barbara executive producer to help adapt timely espionage thriller

Friday Night Lights scribe David Aaron Cohen is adapting Son of Hamas, a gripping, true-life espionage thriller, into a feature film.

'Son of Hamas'

“This is a story that is burning to be told,” said Cohen. “It’s a story about the power of love to heal ancient wounds. It’s not a Palestinian, an Israeli or even a Christian story, but a deeply human tale of espionage, betrayal and redemption that I am honored to bring to life on the big screen.”

Producers Richard Harding and Sam Feuer of Sixth Sense Productions, fresh off the success of their award winning film, The First Grader, are teaming up with Southpaw Entertainment’s veteran producer Richard B. Lewis (August Rush, Backdraft, Blown Away) to tell the true story of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the eldest son of one of the founding members of Hamas, who spent nearly a decade as an undercover spy for Israel before rejecting his own faith and converting to Christianity.

The adaptation of The New York Times best-selling memoir, written by Yousef with reporter Ron Brackin, will focus on the heroic and chilling journey of Yousef, aka “The Green Prince,” who saved countless lives on both sides of the conflict, while keeping his father from being assassinated by Israeli and Palestinian forces. The emotional and dramatic triangle includes the young spy Yousef, his Israeli handler from the Shin Bet (the domestic Israeli intelligence agency) and Yousef’s father, the spiritual leader of Hamas who operated in the top echelons of the Palestinian political and military wings.

Cohen’s credits include the feature Friday Night Lights, which spawned the successful TV show; Alan J. Pakula’s The Devil’s Own, which starred Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt; and the mini-series 5ive Days to Midnight for Lionsgate. Cohen is also developing a TV series called The Pettys, a father/son drama based on the real life exploits of the first family of NASCAR, with Entertainment One attached to produce.

Harding, Feuer and Lewis will serve as producers on Son of Hamas, while Santa Barbara-based Dennis Baker, who helped broker Yousef’s deal, and Darin Shea, who is financing the development via The Shea Family Foundation will serve as executive producers. Southpaw’s Gabrielle Jerou, who initially found the project, will serve as a co-producer. The deal was negotiated by Greg S. Bernstein of the Law Offices of Greg S. Bernstein for Sixth Sense Productions and Dan Halsted of Manage-Ment for Cohen.

— Dennis Baker is a principal in DM Baker Media.

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