Johnny Depp scoops film rights to Russian spy's death

He’s producing an adaptation of a book on Alexander Litvinenko

The story of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko has been burning a swathe through our newspapers for the last couple of months, with the newshounds whipping themselves into a frenzy of Cold War-style wonderings about Russian prez Vladimir Putin and where in London it’s safe to eat without getting a dose of polonium-210.

One of those particularly interested in the case is Johnny Depp, who, with the cash support of Warner Bros, has just nabbed the rights of Alan Cowell’s book Sasha’s Story: The Life And Death Of A Russian Spy. Cowell, a New York Times journo, has been covering the events as they unfold and will finally sit down to write his tome this year, with a planned release date of later in 2007. That’s right – Hollywood has finally skipped that pesky bit about actually having the book finished and gone straight to the adaptation.

Depp’s company Infinitum Nihil has the rights now, which means he might consider playing a part in the eventual film. So we could see the actor going from Captain Jack’s flowing locks to a slightly more severe haircut…