As “The Fifth Estate” sadly proved last month, journalism movies aren’t the easiest sell at the multiplex, even when involving a current hot button issue and headline-grabbing figure at the center of the drama. But a good story can’t be ignored and Jeremy Renner and director Michael Cuesta (“Homeland,” “Dexter” and “Twelve And Holding” also featuring Renner) have latched onto one in “Kill The Messenger.” And even though the movie isn’t due until sometime in 2014, the pair are getting out in front and starting to talk about the movie.
Penned by Peter Landesman (“Parkland“), based on the books “Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion” by Gary Webb and Nick Schou’s “Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb” and featuring an all star-cast—Rosemarie DeWitt, Andy Garcia, Lucas Hedges, Tim Blake Nelson, Robert Patrick, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Williams and Mary Elizabeth Winstead—the film will tell the true story of the reporter who detailed the C.I.A.’s connection to the crack cocaine trade, only to be smeared as a result, losing his job, falling into depression, and eventually leading to his suicide. Basically, Webb’s work got attention, but it also ruined his life.
“Good investigative journalism ruffles feathers,” Renner told USA Today who have debuted the first images from the movie. “From the reaction he got, Gary was doing something right.” But getting turned on by those close to him was the deepest cut for Webb.
“It’s a man left out in the wind on his own,” the actor continues. “The letter was the ultimate betrayal for Gary, I believe. The mothership bailed and that crushed him.”
It’s intriguing stuff, and we’ll see the results via Focus Features in 2014.