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FX Adapting New York Times Writer’s Book ‘This Is How They Tell Me

‘The West Wing’s’ Tommy Schlamme is developing the project based on cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth’s best-selling nonfiction book.

FX has landed the rights to a New York Times writer’s best-selling book.

The network is adapting cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth’s newly released nonfiction book This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race, which chronicles the history of cyberwarfare and how the U.S. became vulnerable to attack. The project is being described as a far-reaching drama series that grapples with the full scope of what the internet has become — a complex matrix within which all of humanity is inextricably interlinked.

Sources say The West Wing director-producer Tommy Schlamme, who worked with FX on The Americans and Snowfall, brought the book to the network. He’ll executive produce the project alongside his producing partner Julie DeJoie as part of his overall deal there. Black Adam screenwriters Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani, who’ve already penned the first season of the show, will also exec produce. In addition, Perlroth will help shepherd the project to the screen as a producer.

Schlamme, whose credits also include HBO’s Plot Against America and WGN America’s Manhattan, has developed a reputation for adapting complex source material with an emphasis on accuracy. While directing Manhattan, which centered on the making the atomic bomb, he’s said to have encouraged the actors to take physics lessons on set so that they’d have a deeper understanding of what they’d be acting out. Schlamme is expected to lend the same nuance to this project, which is highly technical in nature.

“My goal in writing This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends was always to crack open the closed-door discussions about cyber threats, about our vast digital vulnerability. But it was more than that. I wanted to shake us of our complacency and demonstrate just how interconnected our digital universe has become. Tommy immediately got that,” says Perlroth. “It was clear from our first phone call that his enthusiasm for this project was unmatched. I’m thrilled to be partnering and producing alongside Tommy and Julie DeVoie and Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani who have taken such a nuanced and ambitious approach to the screenplay.”

Perlroth is repped by CAA. Schlamme is repped by CAA and Weintraub Tobin. Haines and Noshirvani are both repped by CAA, Grandview and Jackoway Austen.

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