Oline Cogdill

Judging from the previews, the upcoming movie Paranoia, scheduled to open on Aug. 16, looks to be a winner.

Of course, the real proof will be in the film itself; too often interesting previews don’t translate into a good movie.

But I have hope. You can judge for yourself: Here is a link to the preview.

The film is based on Joseph Finder’s fifth novel, which revolved around industrial espionage and high-tech companies.

In a review, I called Finder’s 2004 novel “an exciting, breathless thriller that doesn’t slow down until the author has nailed that last, surprising twist.”

The film will star Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games) as Adam Cassidy, a 26-year-old underachiever whose greatest talent seems to be “winning over” people.

Finder turned Adam into a bona fide hero for whom you’ll find yourself not only cheering, but willing to spend more time in his world. Adam is forced by his corrupt boss, Nick Wyatt, to spy on Trion, owned by the man’s former mentor, to secure a multi-billion dollar advantage.

In his novel, Finder kept the energy high and the situations plausible.

In my review, I said “James Bond’s adventures almost pale next to the industrial espionage that permeates the halls of Wyatt and Trion and the executive with a ‘black belt in corporate politics.’ The author creates a balance between the ‘high-testosterone shop’ at Wyatt and the seemingly calmer atmosphere at Trion. But Finder doesn’t let the reader relax – just as much deception exists at Trion. And the threat of violence against Adam, his father and his oldest friend is quite real. Just when Paranoia seems to be on a predictable path, Finder pulls a twist that is the perfect capper. . . Finder . . . knows how to [deliver] a superior contemporary thriller that will resonate with anyone who has seen corporate politics at its worse.”

Gary Oldman will star as Nicholas Wyatt and his rival, Jock Goddard, will be played by Harrison Ford. Richard Dreyfuss plays Adam’s father.

As yet, Finder hasn’t seen the movie, only the trailer, “which looks great—but I’m optimistic,” he said.

“The casting is terrific—Harrison Ford is perfect for Jock Goddard, Gary Oldman is one of the greatest actors alive, and Liam Hemsworth is going to be a real star. I've seen Liam shoot several scenes, and he really has the chops to carry the lead,” added Finder in an email to me.

Paranoia isn’t the first novel by Finder to make it to the screen. His novel High Crimes was the basis for the Morgan Freeman/Ashley Judd movie.

And if the film doesn’t live up to its potential? Finder isn’t worried. “James M. Cain was asked how he felt about what Hollywood "did" to one of his books—The Postman Always Rings Twice or Double Indemnity, I forget. And he replied, ‘They haven't done anything to my book. It's right there on the shelf. They paid me and that's the end of it.’ That's pretty much how I feel. If the movie's good, it's like a terrific billboard for the book, and if it's not so good, the book's always there. Either way I'm happy,” Finder added.

But don’t expect to see Finder onscreen along the lines of Lee Child’s cameo in Jack Reacher. “No cameo in this one. The producers didn't invite offer me one this time, unfortunately,” Finder said.

Photos: Top, Gary Oldman, Liam Hemsworth, Harrison Ford in Paranoia. Bottom, Liam Hemsworth
Photos courtesy Relativity Media