Mammoth Screen acquires rights to ‘M’, the story of legendary MI5 spymaster, Maxwell Knight

Company News February 22, 2017

Mammoth Screen is delighted to have acquired the dramatic rights to M: Maxwell Knight, MI5’s Greatest Spymaster, a forthcoming non-fiction title by bestselling author Henry Hemming.

M tells the thrilling story of MI5’s Maxwell Knight, the spymaster who did more than any other to break-up British fascism during the Second World War. Known to his agents and colleagues as ‘M’, Knight would later be one of the inspirations for the ‘M’ character in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels.

Matt Charman, the Bafta and Oscar-nominated writer behind Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed Bridge of Spies, is attached as lead writer. He said:

“I raced through Henry Hemming’s book, constantly having to remind myself that it wasn’t a work of fiction. It really has everything you’d want from a great espionage story: incredible agents risking their lives; the highest possible stakes, with the safety of the world hanging in the balance; and at its heart a complicated, mercurial spymaster spinning an ever more intricate web.”

Damien Timmer, Managing Director of Mammoth Screen, said: “This was one of those rare manuscripts which gave me goosebumps as I was reading it. An utterly immersive and riveting read, Maxwell Knight is a genuinely fascinating character, and his journey through some of the most turbulent years of the 20th century constantly astounded me. It’s a real passion project for Matt Charman and Mammoth and we look forward to starting on it!”

Henry Hemming said: “I am thrilled that Mammoth Screen have optioned M, with Matt Charman attached as lead writer. Damien and Matt have an intelligent and hugely compelling vision for how to adapt M. I can’t wait to see the world that I have got to know so well over the past few years come to life on screen.”


34 - MK with Goo the cuckoo (photograph by Ron Francis, reproduced courtesy of Surrey Heath Museum)