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Radioactive Russian spy story for big screen

Published time: November 05, 2011 08:57
Edited time: November 05, 2011 13:10
Former Soviet KGB officer Aleksandr Litvinenko

Former Soviet KGB officer Aleksandr Litvinenko

The man behind the Rise of the Planet of the Apes, British director Rupert Wyatt, is set to shed some cinematic light on the mysterious case of the poisoned former Soviet KGB officer Aleksandr Litvinenko.

­He will direct the biopic based on the true story of the Russian secret agent, likely to be played by award-winning Irish-German actor Michael Fassbender.

According to Variety, the Warner Bros. project will focus on the later days of Litvinenko's life, after he was fatally poisoned by an exposure to polonium radiation.

Entitled Londongrad, the British thriller is based on Alan Cowell's book Sasha's Story: The Life and Death of a Russian Spy.

The 43-year-old Litvinenko died a torturous, slow death in London in 2006, as a result of being poisoned by the radioactive substance polonium 210.

His death resulted in a years-long freeze in relations between UK and Russia. The British media has reiterated allegations that the killing was ordered by the Kremlin, while British investigators are claiming that the crime was committed by Andrey Lugovoy, a Russian citizen, now a member of the State Duma. They demanded his extradition for trial in London, which Moscow refused because the Russian constitution explicitly forbids such a move. Moscow suggested that a trial of Lugovoy be held in Russia, with the British prosecutors presenting their evidence. London refused the offer.

Among those who have been following Litvinenko's case is the star of Pirates of the Caribbean, Johnny Depp, whose production company, Infinitum Nihil, is set to produce the biopic.

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