Middleton Media has optioned the rights to the book “Breaking Cover: My Secret Life in the CIA and What it Taught me About What’s Worth Fighting For.” This memoir, written by former CIA agent Michele Assad after she was cleared to drop her cover, details her time serving in the Middle East alongside her husband, Joseph.
While the screenplay is still being adapted by Michael Russell Gunn (The Newsroom), early reports state that the film plans to focus on the Assad’s relationship while they were working undercover, as well as the humanitarian mission they planned and executed after they left the agency.
Photo from Goodreads
Growing up in rural Florida, Michele never planned to fight terrorism, but after meeting Joseph in high school, traveling to Egypt and studying the Middle East in college, she became interested in the region. On a whim, she submitted an application to the CIA and was accepted, as was Joseph.
The Assads were in training under the CIA’s Directorate of Operations when the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred. As a result, the two worked on missions throughout the Middle East, hunting down terrorists while also maintaining their marriage. In addition to their missions, the film will chronicle a humanitarian effort they planned and carried out to rescue hundreds of refugees from ISIS in 2015, which was featured on ABC’s 20/20 under the title “Escaping ISIS.”
Photo from ABC
Michele’s book has offered readers a different perspective on the Middle East and the film intends to bring that view to the big screen.
“Breaking Cover reveals a layer of the world that we don’t ordinarily get to see, and Michele has harnessed her vast political knowledge, understanding of the region, and natural gifts as a storyteller to craft a memoir that feels like a thriller,” John Powers Middleton and Alex Foster told Deadline Hollywood.
Middleton and Foster are serving as producers on the project for Middleton Media.
“We’re excited to be partnering with the talented Michael Russell Gunn on the script and can’t wait to bring this incredible true story to audiences everywhere,” they said.