With only two of the film categories at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) announced so far, there are already ten films with scientific or technological themes. Standout amongst them is the Sloan-supported feature THE CATCHER WAS A SPY, starring Paul Rudd in the title role along with Guy Pierce, Sienna Miller, Jeff Daniels, and Paul Giamatti. The film is a biopic of Major League Baseball star Moe Berg who led a double life as a secret agent during World War II. During development, it won support from the Tribeca Film Institute-Sloan Foundation program. This will be the film’s world premiere.

Directed by Ben Lewin (THE SESSIONS), adapted by Robert Rodat (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN) from a book of the same name by Nicholas Dawidoff, THE CATCHER WAS A SPY is produced by Jim Young who also produced the Sloan-supported film THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY about mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. As Young wrote to Science & Film, THE CATCHER WAS A SPY focuses “on [Moe Berg’s] work on the Alsos Mission to get to Zurich during World War II to interview Werner Heisenberg [physicist who headed Germany’s nuclear program], and ascertain how close the Nazis were to developing the atomic bomb.” The film was primarily shot in Budapest.


The Toronto International Film Festival takes place from September 7 through 17. THE CATCHER WAS A SPY is part of the Gala Presentations program. In addition to those stars listed above, the film features Mark Strong, Tom Wilkinson, and Connie Nielson. Stay tuned for coverage of THE CATCHER WAS A SPY at TIFF as well as films like MARY SHELLEY and THE CURRENT WAR.

Cover image Courtesy of TIFF