Trailer: Kill The Messenger

It is telling that all of our ‘investigative journalism’ stories are now period pictures. Jeremy Renner here plays San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb who uncovered the fact that the CIA was smuggling cocaine into the United States for the purposes of funding Central American Contra activities. (On a side note: This is also why former LA police detective Michael Ruppert turned down CIA appointments and became a full time investigative journalist and conspiracy researcher, and the subject of the 2009 film, Collapse. And while Ruppert is not in any way involved in this particular story, in real life, both Ruppert and Webb eventually committed suicide.)

Adapted from Webb’s 1999 book Dark Alliance and directed by Michael Cuesta (TV’s Homeland and Dexter) this looks very solid stuff, in a genre of film that isn’t made as often as I would like. The massive supporting cast is stacked to the gills with great actors: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Paz Vega, Michael Sheen, Oliver Platt, Michael K. Williams, Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia, Tim Blake Nelson, Berry Pepper, Robert Patrick, and Rosemarie DeWitt.

José Padilha Teams With Don Cheadle

Marching Powder Book CoverOne day I had no idea who José Padilha was and the next, the man’s name is all over the web. Aside from the fact that his award winning Elite Squad (trailer) is getting all sorts of positive attention and playing here and there (though no where near me), I recently discovered that the director already has a third film in the can and then there’s his involvement with the Think Tank shorts.

Now there’s news via Variety that Padilha has agreed to direct a long dormant drama titled Marching Powder. It sounds as though the film has been in the works for some time with Don Cheadle in line to star and produce but it looks like things have finally dropped into place. The film is based on a memoir by Thomas McFadden and Rusty Young and Cheadle is in line to play McFadden, a British drug trafficker who was arrested in Bolivia and jailed in La Paz’s San Pedro prison where he served as a tour guide during his his six-year stretch. A tour guide? Is this for real? It appears so.

Checking out the official page for the book, I was shocked to see children locked up and with a little more research, I found out that the prison is unlike any other in that it contains a society within its walls with entire families living alongside the inmates. This is unlike anything I’ve seen before and it certainly sounds like a fascinating story. I can’t wait to see where Padilha takes it.