Excuse my cynicism if I’m not holding my breath for this project to actually pan out and happen. At least under Ridley Scott‘s watch. The filmmaker has a great habit of attaching himself to films with the optimistic outlook of directing, only for them to get stuck in development and/or left behind as he gets distracted by something else. Anyway, if the folks behind “The Cartel” want this to ride the headlines, they’ll have to move fast.
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“The Cartel” is the title of Don Winslow‘s latest novel, which tells a tale of a Mexican drug kingpin not unlike the notorious El Chapo (who the author heavily researched for his book), who is currently on the run after escaping from prison. Now it’s headed to the big screen with Scott slated to direct. But I like said, we’ll see about that. Shane Salerno, who previously adapted Winslow’s “Savages” for Oliver Stone, will write the script. Here’s the book synopsis:
It’s 2004. DEA agent Art Keller has been fighting the war on drugs for thirty years in a blood feud against Adán Barrera, the head of El Federación, the world’s most powerful cartel, and the man who brutally murdered Keller’s partner. Finally putting Barrera away cost Keller dearly—the woman he loves, the beliefs he cherishes, the life he wants to lead.
Then Barrera gets out, determined to rebuild the empire that Keller shattered. Unwilling to live in a world with Barrera in it, Keller goes on a ten-year odyssey to take him down. His obsession with justice—or is it revenge?—becomes a ruthless struggle that stretches from the cities, mountains, and deserts of Mexico to Washington’s corridors of power to the streets of Berlin and Barcelona.
Keller fights his personal battle against the devastated backdrop of Mexico’s drug war, a conflict of unprecedented scale and viciousness, as cartels vie for power and he comes to the final reckoning with Barrera—and himself—that he always knew must happen.
The Cartel is a story of revenge, honor, and sacrifice, as one man tries to face down the devil without losing his soul. It is the story of the war on drugs and the men—and women—who wage it.
Scott has dealt specifically with the Mexican drug game before, sort of, in the very talky, totally bonkers, “The Counselor,” but this sounds like it gets right to the meat of the matter. The project is set up at Fox, who will release Scott’s next film, “The Martian,” this fall. But hey guys, what ever happened to “Prometheus 2“? [THR]