Robert DeNiro & Shia LaBeouf will play father-and-son spies in ‘Spy’s Kid’

I thought DeNiro’s legacy couldn’t be tarnished more than it already was by this body-snatchers face he’s making in the poster for The Big Wedding, starring Diane Keaton and Katherine Heigl (which I will be courageously subjecting myself to tomorrow night, just for your amusement). He looks like a goddamn Berenstain Bears cartoon. Anyway, news on the DeNiro front isn’t getting any better today:

— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) April 22, 2013

That’s right, Spy’s Kid, not to be confused with Spy Kids, or Agent Cody Banks, starring Labeouf nemesis Frankie Muniz. Man, is there any premise more tired and lame than the family o’ spies? I was hoping this one went out of favor some time between This Means War and the stalled development of Spy vs. Spy. I’d take a body-swap movie over this. This Summer, Robert Deniro and Shia Labeouf, in… The Toddfather! He’ll make you an awesome you can’t refuse! (*slide whistle, whoopie cushion*)

Paramount is making a play on a package that includes Shia LaBeouf, Robert De Niro and director D.J. Caruso.
The studio is picking up Spy’s Kid, a Catch Me If You Can-style story set in the world of espionage with LaBeouf and De Niro attached to play a son-father spy duo under Caruso’s direction. The helmer worked with LaBeouf on the actor’s breakout hit Disturbia as well as Eagle Eye.

The movie project is based on a dramatic six-part series of articles by Bryan Denson that were published in The Oregonian in 2011 and told the true story of a traitorous spy who enlists his son to continue his work.

THR has learned that the rights deals have closed and that Caruso is in negotiations. LaBeouf and De Niro are in talks to attach themselves to the project. The actors’ final involvement will depend on any script that is written.

Jim Nicholson was a 20-year CIA vet who in 1996 was convicted of spying and sentenced to 23 years in prison, becoming the highest-ranking officer convicted of espionage. In 2004, his youngest son, Nathan Nicholson, began to seek solace and advice from his father in an Oregon federal prison after leaving behind a failed Army career and in a state of depression. The father raised his son’s spirits but also coached him in spycraft, in effect launching a second act of espionage from behind bars by using his son as a courier.

In the ensuing year and a half, Nathan traveled the world selling secrets to the Russians, all the while getting deeper and deeper over his head.

Grove-Atlantic just won the publishing rights in a bidding war for the book. [THR]

Well, at least the story doesn’t sound as horrible as the title, aside from Shia Labeouf’s involvement. But if you’re going to make a real movie, for the love of God, give it a real title. There’s a reason Donnie Brasco wasn’t called I’m, Like, Soo Undercover.