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Ridley Scott to direct The Cartel; Leonardo DiCaprio being courted to star

07.23.2015

Per THR, after Fox grabbed the screen rights for Don Winslow's "The Cartel", the studio also scooped up Ridley Scott to direct and produce the film adaptation which has been inspired by the real-life drug lord known as El Chapo. If that name sounds familiar to you, congratulations, you've been watching the news. Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán escaped from prison (for the second time) earlier this month in a daring tunnel escape fit for a Hollywood blockbuster.

Deadline reports that Ridley Scott and the studio are currently courting Leonardo DiCaprio to star in the film as Art Keller, a DEA agent who engages in a decades long feud with Adán Barrera, a drug lord who Keller put away but has recently escaped from prison.

A book synopsis of "The Cartel" via Amazon:

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.

A prequel novel, "The Power of the Dog", was also scooped up by Fox. Shane Salerno (SAVAGES) is currently working on the script but as Ridley Scott has several projects already lined up, it's currently unclear whether THE CARTEL will be Ridley Scott's next film. Scott's latest film, THE MARTIAN starring Matt Damon, is set for a October 2, 2015 release.

Source: DeadlineTHR

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