Heard on the Hill: Staffer’s Book Goes Hollywood

Posted May 4, 2011 at 6:08pm

Looks like Congress might be in for another depiction on the silver screen — only the latest take comes from a real insider, so we’re not expecting any of the typical gaffes, such as a Georgetown Metro station.

Former Hill staffer Rick Robinson’s latest political thriller, “Manifest Destiny,” has been picked up by a Hollywood producer. Peter Deyell, whose credits include “Road to Nowhere,” bought the rights to the book, which screenwriter Quinn Redeker of “The Deer Hunter” will turn into a script.

Robinson, who worked for former Sen. Jim Bunning when the Kentucky Republican served in the House, says he pictured big-screen versions of his characters while writing.

Robinson, who once ran for Congress himself (he ran for his old boss’s House seat when Bunning ran for Senate, but he lost the primary), says the book’s main character, the fictional Rep. Richard Thompson — who must negotiate the release of a Congressional staffer captured in Romania — is a pastiche of real-life political types. “Richard Thompson is a little bit of Bunning, a little bit of Bob and Elizabeth Dole, a little bit of me,” he says.

The novel still has a long way to go before it hits theaters, and Robinson says he’s excited, but checking his expectations. “I had to calm down my 14 year-old daughter — she was already picking out dresses to wear to the premiere,” he says. “And I said, ‘Let’s wait until this thing gets made first.’”