Well, you certainly can’t argue with the kind of names the adaptation of Don Winslow‘s “The Winter Of Frankie Machine” has been attracting. In the early 2000s, Martin Scorsese kicked around the project as a potential vehicle to reteam with Robert DeNiro, and then Michael Mann took a look not long after. But it lay dormant for a long spell, though Winslow assured folks a few years ago that development was still proceeding with a new director to be named. It’s taken three years for that to happen, but better late than never, right?
Deadline reports that William Friedkin will now develop and direct the project, with Winslow to lend a hand on the script. The thriller tells the story of Frankie Machine, retired mob hitman who has cut all ties with Mafia but is called in to do a job as a favor for an L.A. crime family, but it’s a ruse. Here’s the book synopsis:
Frankie Machianno, a hard-working entrepreneur, passionate lover, part-time surf bum, and full-time dad, is a widely recognized pillar of his waterfront community. He is also a retired hit man. Once better known as Frankie Machine, he was a brutally efficient killer. Now someone from his past wants him dead, and after a botched attempt on his life, Frankie sets out to find his potential killers. However, the list of suspects is longer than the California coastline. With the mob on his heels and the cops on his tail, Frankie hatches a plan to protect his family, save his life, and escape the mob forever. Then things get really complicated.
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Casting and financing won’t begin until a script is in place, but Friedkin wants the movie to be in the same gritty, low budget mould of “Killer Joe,” and that’s just fine by me. That movie was terrific, grim, and uncompromising which sounds like just what this material needs.