EXCLUSIVE: Paramount and Indian Paintbrush have hired Chris Terrio to write A Murder Foretold, the fact-based drama based on the David Grann article in the April 4 issue of The New Yorker about a series of high-level murders in Guatemala. The film will be produced by Film Rites’ Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch and Indian Paintbrush’s Steven Rales and Mark Roybal. Terrio is coming off Argo, the Ben Affleck-directed drama that is currently in production at Warner Bros. I’m told Terrio will script A Murder Foretold before getting started on an adaptation of the Harlan Coben novel Tell No One, which was previously turned into a French film.
A Murder Foretold takes place in a country devastated by killings routinely perpetrated by everyone from secret police to drug dealers. Rodrigo Rosenberg, a wealthy businessman who watched his wife-to-be get assassinated along with her father, was later gunned down while riding his bicycle. His murder stirred up an entire country frustrated by the endless waves of violence, sometimes involving corrupt government officials. At his funeral, Rosenberg had an intermediary disperse copies of a videocassette he had recorded himself, one that implicated the president, his wife, and other close aides in his killing. A special prosecutor was appointed, and he followed a trail of clues that led to an unbelievable conclusion and a real crackdown on violence in Guatemala. The project sold in a multi-studio bidding battle last April. Grann and Indian Paintbrush’s Michael Pruss are co-producers. Terrio is repped by CAA.