Hot book du jour: Sony Pictures is in pole position in the chase for rights to Hunting El Chapo: The Thrilling Inside Story of The American Lawman Who Captures The World’s Most-Wanted Drug Lord, the upcoming HarperCollins book by Cole Merrell and Douglas Century about the pursuit of the elusive Mexican drug cartel leader. Merrell is the pseudonym for the DEA official who spearheaded the jump to bring to justice El Chapo (Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman-Loeroa), who evaded capture for more than a decade and this year was extradited to the U.S. Among those said to be in pursuit include Transformers director Michael Bay. This is a parallel project to Fox’s The Cartel, the celebrated Don Winslow novel about the hunt for a drug cartel leader that has Ridley Scott directing a screenplay by Shane Salerno. Winslow based the book on real events involved in the escalation of the long war on drugs and the rise of the cartels, a saga the author began with The Power Of The Dog. Scott has been scouting this film in locations around the world including Spain, with Leonardo DiCaprio circling. Hunting El Chapo will be published in October, around the time of El Chapo’s trial. Century previously wrote Barney Ross and Street Kingdom, and Under and Along and Takedown: The Fall of the Last Media Empire.
Peter Kang Joining Columbia Pictures As EVP Production
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