HBO’s sister channel Cinemax has put in development Kingpin, an hourlong drama from Black List writer Chad St. John (Ronin) and Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment. It is one of two drama projects St. John and Overbrook are collaborating on, along with Watchlist, which recently sold to Fox. Both are executive produced by St. John, his wife Viruna Arend and Lassiter.
Kingpin centers on a crafty and careful mid-level drug trafficker trying to get out of the business. He is blackmailed back into it by a dirty DEA agent — who’s really a dirty CIA agent, because the agency can no longer work with murderous cartels — who plans to make the trafficker a puppet kingpin…a tidbit the trafficker and his partners will wish someone would have told them.
Watchlist is about two ex-clandestine Special Ops teammates who sacrifice their normal lives to come to the rescue of a third former teammate who is framed by a powerful CIA faction for a political assassination. A game of cat and mouse on the streets of Boston ensues as the trio takes on the technology and unlimited budget of the CIA. St. John and Overbrook are with CAA.