EXCLUSIVE: Tom Cruise and director Doug Liman are in talks to re-team on Mena, a Gary Spinelli scripted drama that Universal Pictures bought last year in a $1 million spec deal. The film will be produced by Doug Davison with Imagine’s Brian Grazer, and with Kim Roth exec producing. Cross Creek is financing this and Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson and also producing.
The spec is a fact-based tale about Barry Seal, a pilot who, in the 1980s, was a gun runner, and drug trafficker who transported contraband for the CIA and the Medellin cartel. He was eventually shot to death by the latter in Baton Rouge. The title refers to Mena, Arkansas, where a lot of the illegal activity took place, under the noses of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. Cruise is an accomplished pilot in his own right. If this all comes together, the film would shoot sometime this year. Cruise and Liman made Edge Of Tomorrow.