Filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russos’ Getaway Productions along with Skybound Entertainment have pre-emptively acquired rights for The Mastermind, a new investigative series of articles from digital publication the Atavist Magazine. The hotter-than-hot filmmakers behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the upcoming Captain America: Civil War plan to develop the property for television.
The serialized stories, written by Atavist founder Evan Ratliff, is said to be similar to the wildly popular Making a Murderer in that the story of an elusive criminal kingpin unfolds slowly in written installments. The articles follow the illicit exploits of Paul Le Roux, whom Atavist describes as “a brilliant programmer and a vicious cartel boss who became a prized government asset.”
Ratliff also is writing a book based on Le Roux and the hunt to catch him. Random House is said to have won the publishing rights after a heated bidding war.
“Evan is breaking the story of one of the most successful and notorious global criminal masterminds of the 21st century – covering his rise to power, getting busted by the DEA and then turning state’s witness as they piece together and dismantle his vast, disconnected global criminal empire,” said Mike Larocca, President of Film and Television for Getaway, Productions in making the announcement. “We were riveted by this true crime story, its societal implications and cinematic potential.”
Adds Sean Furst, Skybound Entertainment’s Co-President of Film and Television, “We have had some experience and, happily, some success in creating fictional, serialized dramas but the opportunity to base a show on real world current events with such a fascinating if nefarious main character was certainly compelling to us.” Skybound has produced The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead and new Cinemax series Outcast, which premieres in June.
Atavist is repped by CAA and Circle of Confusion.