We envision how the sex scandal could play on both big and small screens

By Keith Staskiewicz
November 23, 2012 at 05:00 AM EST

The recent scandal involving disgraced CIA head Gen. David Petraeus, his biographer Paula Broadwell, and pretty much everyone else in D.C. who owns a suit or a uniform may require A Beautiful Mind levels of concentration to make sense of it all, but it’s still a tasty, twisty yarn. ”The conspiracy elements are too juicy to ignore,” Matt Corman and Chris Ord, showrunners for USA’s CIA series Covert Affairs, tell EW in an email. ”The timing, the players, and the details would make great television.” (There’s already a built-in TV angle: Inadvertent whistle-blower Jill Kelley has hired Judy Smith, the inspiration for Kerry Washington‘s Scandal character.) Of course, it could also be a fantastic movie. Intrigued by all this intrigue, we took a look at how some different adaptations might take shape.

The Lifetime Original Movie
All in All: The Story of All In: The Paula Broadwell Story
Tiffani Thiessen gives the performance of her lifetime (or at least her Lifetime contract) as a Harvard-educated journalist who gets swept into a web of sex and deceit by the devious and brutally handsome General Petraeus, played by Steven Weber as you’ve never seen him before…in this movie.

The Oscar Contender
State of Affairs
Aaron Sorkin‘s powerhouse script, which is as accurate as it is unshowy, tells the story of a man whose poor judgment causes his 37-year military career to come cascading down around him. Kevin Spacey will surely take home his third statuette as Petraeus, as will Hilary Swank for her intensely physical portrayal of Broadwell. Like previous prestige pictures Magnolia and Crash, the film will demonstrate how we’re all connected and how everything we do is inextricably linked. Except in this case it’s by adultery, not fate.

The Reality Show
Top Secret
Kelley, the Tampa-based socialite whose complex political entanglements make the White House party crashers look like amateurs, already seems like something out of Real Housewives. For Bravo’s latest foray into brazen shamelessness, Kelley will host a reality dating series in which members of NATO, the CIA, the FBI, and various other acronymic organizations attempt to woo her with leaked bits of classified information. Many will try to win her hand, but only one will be given the honor of being named Top Secret.

The Romantic Comedy
Too Big for His Breaches
Jennifer Aniston rolls her eyes and coyly chews on a pen for an entire movie as a quirky biographer who falls head over heels for her subject, an all-American military commander with inexplicable traces of a Scottish accent (Gerard Butler). But when she thinks ”family friend” Kelley (Kate Hudson) is starting to make a move on her man, things get ugly fast — and pretty soon everyone from the president on down is getting involved. Kooky mix-ups and potential lapses in national security have never been this much fun!

The Network Series
Generalized
À la Castle, Broadwell (Melanie Lynskey) and Petraeus (Bill Paxton) alternate between respecting and annoying each other as she follows him around doing research for her book. After five seasons of intensely chronicled will-they-or-won’t-they romance, it will be revealed that they already did. Often.

The Cable Series
Homeland
Yeah, this is all basically Homeland.

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