Over the years, American novelist and screenwriter Richard Price has seen many of his works make smooth transitions from the page to the screen. His book The Wanderers was adapted by Philip Kaufman into a now-iconic coming-of-age film, and Spike Lee’s take on Clockers earned strong reviews. Additionally, Price’s work as a screenwriter has been highly successful – among his accolades are an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay (for The Color of Money) and a Writers Guild of America Award (for HBO’s The Wire, on which he served as a writer). Now, Sony is betting on Price’s ability to deliver another strong drama by entering talks to adapt his upcoming work The Whites.
If a deal is made, super-producer Scott Rudin (Captain Phillips) will produce a film adaptation of the crime drama, the first written by Price under the pen name Harry Brandt. Set in New York City, The Whites centers on detective Billy Graves, whose dark past comes back to haunt him when he takes on a harrowing case during a graveyard shift. As with many of Price’s most acclaimed works, cops and crooks come into the mix. The official Amazon synopsis reads:
Back in the run-and-gun days of the mid-90s, when Billy Graves worked in the South Bronx as part of an anti-crime unit known as the Wild Geese, he made headlines by accidentally shooting a 10-year-old boy while stopping an angel-dusted berserker in the street. Branded as a cowboy by his higher-ups, for the next eighteen years Billy endured one dead-end posting after another. Now in his early forties, he has somehow survived and become a sergeant in Manhattan Night Watch, a small team of detectives charged with responding to all night-time felonies from Wall Street to Harlem.
Night Watch usually acts a set-up crew for the day shift, but when Billy is called to a 4:00 a.m. fatal slashing of a man in Penn Station, his investigation of the crime moves beyond the usual handoff. And when he discovers that the victim was once a suspect in the unsolved murder of a 12-year-old boy—a brutal case with connections to the former members of the Wild Geese—the bad old days are back in Billy’s life with a vengeance, tearing apart enduring friendships forged in the urban trenches and even threatening the safety of his family.
Richard Price, one of America’s most gifted novelists, has always written brilliantly about cops, criminals, and New York City. Now, writing as Harry Brandt, he is poised to win a huge following among all those who hunger for first-rate crime fiction.
Sony’s Michael De Luca is overseeing the deal, and given Price’s past success in the crime drama genre, there’s no reason to suspect that negotiations won’t result in an option. Price’s other screenplays include Sea of Love, Night and the City, Mad Dog and Glory, Kiss of Death, Ransom and Shaft. In addition to writing for The Wire, Price scribed episodes of NYC 22 and Criminal Justice.
Price will next make headlines when The Whites is published on February 17th, 2015. After that, his name will emerge again in April, when thriller Child 44, which he penned the script for, hits theaters.