Sony’s planned narrative adaptation of the 2014 documentary The Seven Five just took a big step closer to realization, with news that the studio is approaching screenwriter Scott Frank to undertake scripting duties. Frank is the scribe behind such titles as Malice, Get Shorty, Out Of Sight, Minority Report and The Wolverine, and his potential involvement brings huge momentum to the project.
The documentary The Seven Five had its premiere at DOC NYC last year, and Sony snapped up the rights to remake it soon after. It details the devastating police corruption case that shook the New York Police Department to its core in the early 1990s, when 75th precinct officer Michael Dowd was tried and convicted of a raft of terrible crimes. Dowd established a network of illegal activities, recruiting his fellow officers to extort money from drug dealers for protection, and also sell drugs of their own.
He continued this life of crime unchallenged, despite numerous complaints being filed against him. He was eventually arrested by a neighbouring police force, stood trial, and in 1994 was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment, with the possibility of parole after 11. This small leniency was granted in exchange for Dowd’s cooperation with the Mollen Commission – an investigation launched to uncover systemic police corruption throughout the department. The original documentary was directed by Tiller Russell, who previously co-directed the factual feature Bad Boys Of Summer, looking at the baseball team of San Quentin prison.
To direct the narrative adaptation of The Seven Five, Sony has reportedly tapped Yann Demange to take the helm. Demange is currently highly sought after following his critically acclaimed feature film debut, ’71 which was also released last year. That film – starring the equally sought after Jack O’Connell as a British soldier abandoned on the streets of Belfast – was a favourite on the 2014 festival circuit, ensuring that any project with the name Demange attached will garner immediate attention.
Police conduct is currently a hot topic in the U.S, and with Sony looking to assign a combination of experienced writer and exciting new director, we should expect The Seven Five to be something quite exceptional when it arrives in cinemas.