'Deep Throat' Signs Deals for Book, Movie

The man who recently revealed himself as "Deep Throat" (search), the key source for the Washington Post during the Watergate (search) investigation, has agreed to a book and movie deal about his life, his publisher and agent confirmed Thursday.

Mark Felt (search), 91, and his family have chosen PublicAffairs Books to release a combination biography and autobiography, according to Peter Osnos, publisher and chief executive.

Tentatively titled, "A G-man's Life: The FBI, Being 'Deep Throat' And the Struggle for Honor in Washington," the book, co-authored by Felt family friend and attorney John O'Connor, should hit shelves by February 2006.

O'Connor broke the story of Felt's identity in a Vanity Fair article.

"The title (of the book) really says it all," Osnos said Thursday. "It's the FBI, it's being 'Deep Throat' and the struggle for honor in Washington. That's what the book is."

Felt's agent, David Kuhn, said the book will combine previously published and unpublished biographical material, including some from his out-of-print 1979 memoir, "The FBI Pyramid: From the Inside," fresh reporting by O'Connor, family letters and interviews, and about 200 pages of unpublished material that Felt put together in the late 1980s.

"I don't think there are going to be headlines that change the life of the Watergate story," said Kuhn. "This is a different book. Culturally, historically it's going to add to the story by expanding the picture of this man's life."

The book will include "incredibly dramatic stories" about Felt's FBI career, including Mafia investigations in the Midwest and tracking down members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the U.S., Kuhn said.

Osnos said that Universal Pictures has optioned Felt's life story and the book for a movie to be developed by Tom Hanks' production company, Playtone. A telephone call to a spokesman for Universal was not immediately returned early Thursday.

Neither Kuhn nor Osnos would discuss financial details of the book and movie deals, but literary agents have said book rights alone could be worth $1 million. A telephone message left Thursday at the Felt's Santa Rosa, Calif., home was not immediately returned.

Bob Woodward, the Post reporter who broke the Watergate story along with Carl Bernstein, is also set to release a book.

"The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat" is being rushed into print. Woodward's publisher, Simon & Schuster, has set a publication date of July 6.

Several publishers turned down Felt's story, citing concerns about his age and physical and mental deterioration. He suffered a stroke in 2001 and has been in declining health. Felt appeared frail when he shuffled to the doorway of his daughter's house May 31, the day he revealed himself, to give photographers a brief opportunity to take his picture.

But Kuhn said the book won't depend on Felt being interviewed now "about the things that happened 20 to 30 years ago."

"My sense is he's like a lot of 90-somethings. ... He remembers some things. He doesn't remember others. He's got a sharp wit," Kuhn said. "It will be his voice."