EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Oscar-winning The Departed scribe William Monahan are teaming up to acquire The Throwaways, a 2012 New Yorker article by Sarah Stillman that will be used as the basis for a film Monahan will write and produce under his Paramount-based Henceforth Pictures banner. I’m not sure where he goes with the subject matter, but the article is enough to incense any parent.
The article detailed the death count of kids who were collared by drug enforcement agents for relatively minor or even borderline serious infractions, like being caught with small amounts of drugs, and trade cooperation for prosecution. What they do is take these untrained kids and wire them up and put them into incredibly dangerous sting operations to catch big fish. The article opens with the description of a young girl from Florida, who was caught with five ounces of pot and a couple Ecstasy and Valium pills. Sent to buy a gun with $13,000 in marked bills, she lost contact with the drug cops who were supposed to be following her. She was found shot to death in the chest and head with the guy she was sent to buy. In another case, a 16-year old Kentucky high school student who punched an assistant principal was used to catch two drug dealers. Inexplicably sent back to buy more drugs from an indicted dealer who learned that the kid was a secret grand jury witness, the teen was tortured, beaten with a bat, shot, run over by a car and dragged through the woods by a chain. There are a litany of other brutal murders described, and the grieving parents who didn’t even know their kids were being used by law enforcement are outraged. Particularly because in at least several cases, law enforcement seemed indifferent about their kid snitches and kept using them over and over, under the threat they otherwise would be sent to prison. After the fact, these cops circled the wagons and sometimes painted the murder victims as incorrigible druggies as their outraged families sued.
Monahan, who’s repped by LBI, attorney David Weber and WME, most recently scripted The Gambler remake that Rupert Wyatt directed with Mark Wahlberg.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.