EXCLUSIVE: James Mangold, coming off the hit Logan, is returning to 2oth Century Fox. He’s in talks to develop and direct The Force, the upcoming epic NYPD corrupt cop novel by The Cartel author Don Winslow. The novel was acquired for seven-figures by Fox last fall, before it even had a title. The Force will be published June 20 by Fox’s sister company HarperCollins Publishers’ imprint William Morrow. Scott Free’s Ridley Scott, The Story Factory’s Shane Salerno, and Kevin Walsh are producing. They’ll set a writer quickly and Mangold will develop it with the scribe.
The book is a departure from Winslow’s novels about the Mexican drug cartels that began with The Power Of The Dog and continued with The Cartel, which Ridley Scott plans to direct. The Force, I can say after ripping through the pages myself, is like reading a great Sidney Lumet movie, and Mangold’s experience on Copland makes him a strong match for the material. Stephen King, Lee Child and other authors have raved about it on social media. Here’s King’s missive:
The novel is a close cousin to police-corruption films Serpico, Prince Of The City and The Departed and tells the story of a corrupt detective in the NYPD’s most elite crime-fighting unit. Sgt. Denny Malone is forced to choose between his family, his partners and his life. To stop the city’s long-simmering racial tensions from exploding, he must reconcile the idealistic guardian he still views himself to be with the corrupt cop he’s become. He then finds himself attacked on all sides: Harlem drug gangs, the mob he’s in bed with, the brother cops he’s about to destroy, the mayor’s office who fears what he knows and who he can implicate, the relentless federal investigators who want to put him behind bars but, most of all, his own demons. There is a strong male lead role here in the corrupt crime fighter.
Winslow spent years doing intense first-person research for the book. The New York City native returned to the streets he used to work as a private investigator to infiltrate the NYPD culture. He interviewed high-level police officials, veteran detectives and street cops and came away armed with stories of the street and home lives of cops that inform the new book. Steve Asbell will oversee the project for Fox.
Winslow’s previous books have attracted filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann, Oliver Stone, Peter Berg, William Friedkin, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. Between The Force and The Cartel, it looks like his arrival on the movie scene is truly coming. Winslow’s deal was negotiated by CAA and the Story Factory.
Mangold is repped by WME and Management 360.