Peter Berg returning to TV with new spy series M.I.C.E.
As it turns out, Battleship director Peter Berg's interest in Israel goes beyond concern that its citizens take mandatory military service seriously by joining the army, motherfuckers. He is also quite a fan of their TV programming, having signed on to make his first serious return to television since Friday Night Lights by writing and directing an adaptation of Israel's The Gordin Cell. The show—which hails from the same production group as Prisoners Of War, the basis for Showtime's Homeland—concerns an Israeli Air Force officer who has followed Peter Berg's and Rihanna's example and fought bravely for his country, only to have his loyalty tested when it is revealed that his parents are former Russian spies, and their ex-handler demands that he take up the family business. Berg believes the premise "lends itself very easily to American reinvention," given that, as similarly evoked by FX's upcoming The Americans, "there are still real issues between the U.S. and Russia—they’re spying on us, we’re spying on them," and, y'know, Americans like spy stuff, whatever.
One thing that doesn't lend itself so easily to Americanization: The title, which will be changed to M.I.C.E.—an acronym that stands for Money, Ideology, Coercion, and Ego (the keys to getting a spy to betray his country, as well as getting a date), but which will nevertheless probably confuse people into thinking it's a show about mice who are also secret agents. We know we're not helping things with that picture, but that's what we do here.