Ridley Scott On Board To Direct Drug Thriller The Cartel For Fox


Having only hit the shelves last month, Fox and Ridley Scott have wasted no time in snapping up the rights for an adaptation of Don Winslow’s well-received novel, The Cartel.

Word comes by way of The Hollywood Reporter, who state that Scott himself is attached to direct and indeed produce, while Savages‘ scribe Shane Salerno is on board to adapt the project for the screen. Charting the real-life escapades of a Mexican drug kingpin – which, incidentally, draws parallels to the recent real-life escape of El Chapo – The Cartel primarily revolves around Art Keller and Adan Berrera, long-time friends who wound up going their separate ways, with one joining the DEA as a narcotics specialist and the latter ruling the roost as the head of El Federación.

For Winslow, the fact that El Chapo – real name Joaquín Guzmán – escaped from a high-security prison on July 18 has inadvertently created a perfect storm for the novel’s early days on the market. Couple this with the early buzz prior to its release and it’s no surprise that the crime thriller has attracted the attention of Scott and his production company.

At the time of writing, Ridley Scott is on board to direct The Cartel, though considering the sheer number of projects that the filmmaker tends to sign on for, don’t be too surprised if he winds up just producing the film. In the meantime, here’s the official synopsis of the Winslow’s novel.

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.