So maybe the relative success of The Good Shepherd has inspired other studios to look for their own spy vehicles for the upcoming year. Earlier, Monika had the news that Johnny Depp was looking into producing a film about the mysterious death of KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko for Warner Bros. Now, Variety reports that Columbia Pictures has hired Michael Mann for a competing Litvinenko flick. They didn't stop there though, and have also picked up another spy property, although this one seems a little less political and a little more action packed.

The Hollywood Reporter had the announcement that Columbia Pictures had bought the rights to Kurt Wimmer's new spy-thriller Edwin A. Salt. Wimmer has a few credits to his name, including writing The Thomas Crown Affair remake, but the bad news is that he also wrote The Recruit and Ultraviolet -- which might not be the best example of his talents considering I thought both of those movies were pretty much duds. Edwin A. Salt will be the story of an American CIA officer who is falsely accused of being for a Russian sleeper agent. While eluding capture for a supposed plot to assassinate the President, Salt has to find the real spy to clear his name. Since Columbia has only just purchased a spec for the script, it will be most likely be some time before we see a director or cast attached.

[via Dark Horizons]