Malcolm Gladwell to “Smarten Up” CIA Thriller

If you’re looking for a guy to connect the dots, you could do a lot worse than Malcolm Gladwell. It’s safe to say that both his fans and harshest critics would agree.

Gladwell has been hired to “smarten up” David Arata’s script for the thriller “Hexum,” reported Deadline. The film centers on a threat-assessment analyst at the CIA who finds the thread among a series of seemingly unconnected events. For his efforts, Gladwell wil receive an executive producer credit.

This kind of story is right in Gladwell’s wheelhouse. For more than a decade now Gladwell, best known for the book "The Tipping Point," has been identifying phenomena, cultural and otherwise, and then trace their root cause to the unlikeliest places.

Perusing the archives at his website, one can read stories dating back to his 1996 piece about the Space Shuttle Challenger in which he connects the dots behind one mystery or another. Or, if you're already familiar with his work, you can check out the hilarious Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator.

But his work has felt, well, forced over the past few years, as it seems he’s been trying too hard to keep up with his well-earned reputation. Maybe it’s his fault for reaching too far, maybe it’s our fault as reader for growing tired of the once-magical way in which he could spin a yarn.

That said, we have no doubt that Gladwell will do a fine job firming up a narrative about disparate clues to a sinister plot threatening the world.

Now how David Arata feels about people thinking they need to “smarten up” his work? The guy Wrote “Children of Men,” for god’s sake—how dumb can his script be?

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