EXCLUSIVE: After being dormant for the past 2 years, the Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay-produced drama project for HBO Cocaine Cowboys is shifting into high gear with a new writer. Michelle Ashford (The Pacific) has been tapped to write a new pilot script for the potential drama series inspired by Billy Corben’s 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys, about the rise of the cocaine trade and the resulting crime epidemic that swept Miami in the 1970s and 1980s. The HBO project, from Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Warner Bros. Television, will not feature characters from the documentary but will borrow from its portrayal of the events of the illegal drug trade in Miami during that time frame. Corben and Alfred Spellman, partners in rakontur, which produced the documentary, are executive producing the HBO drama with Bruckheimer, Bay and Jonathan Littman. KristieAnne Reed is co-executive producing.
Bruckheimer and Bay, who have worked together on such feature blockbusters as Bad Boys, Armageddon and The Rock, originally set up Cocaine Cowboys at HBO in the spring of 2008. In December of that year, Cold Case creator Meredith Stiehm was brought in as a writer. For the project’s second incarnation, CAA-repped Ashford will write a brand new script.
This is Ashford’s fourth HBO gig in the past couple of years. She also wrote for the pay cable network’s Emmy-winning miniseries The Pacific and John Adams and penned the script for the 2008 HBO pilot Suburban Shootout directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. She earned an Emmy nomination for The Pacific and won a WGA Award for her work on the mini last month, shared with Robert Schenkkan.