Black Hawk Down screenwriter Ken Nolan has sold his spec screenplay Defection to 20th Century Fox, loosely based on the Cold War spy novel The Defection of A.J. LeWinter by Robert Littell.

The original book, which was published in 1973, follows an American scientist who contacts the KGB, claiming he wants to defect to Russia with U.S. military secrets. Ken Nolan changed the setting to modern-day, following an intelligence contractor who defects to North Korea, bringing a mysterious bag with him, in the immediate aftermath of the Edward Snowden case that made headlines around the world. The CIA brings in a washed-up officer who was trained during the Cold War and specializes in defections to help them with a case that becomes more complex than anyone can imagine.

Ken Nolan, who previously adapted Robert Littell's The Company into a TNT limited series back in 2007, originally pitched the project as a Cold War thriller, before shifting the story to modern day.

Hutch Parker (X-Men: Days of Future Past) is producing, with Dan Wilson serving as executive producer. No production schedule was given. Ken Nolan recently turned in a revision of Rockets Red Glare to Sony and producer Neal H. Moritz. He is also writing a film based on the Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighter crew in Prescott, Arizona, which has Scott Cooper attached to direct.