EXCLUSIVE: As The Cartel author Don Winslow’s NYPD cop corruption novel The Force launches today to uniformly rave notices, the film adaptation is coming together in just as admirable a fashion. David Mamet is now in talks to adapt the novel for 20th Century Fox, director James Mangold and Scott Free. Talks are still ongoing, but the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter seems an ideal match for the gritty cop banter that drives a procedural that revolves around an elite group of detectives galvanized by their tough-guy leader Denny Malone. Much in the spirit of Sidney Lumet’s Gotham-based thrillers, the top cop slowly crosses moral lines, justifying them with results, until he eventually finds himself way on the wrong side of the line with little choice but to become a rat against his crew of crooked cops if he wants to stay out of prison.
Mangold was set to direct just after the release of Logan, while the book was still in galleys. Ridley Scott, Shane Salerno and Kevin Walsh are producing. This is a high-profile return to a big studio assignment for Mamet. Aside from praise from authors like Stephen King, who called it ‘The Godfather with Cops,’ and Lee Child, who called it “probably the greatest cop novel ever written,” the book is finding favor with critics as well.
Mamet, who most recently adapted his play Speed The Plow for the screen, scripted The Verdict, The Untouchables, The Edge, Wag The Dog and Redbelt, among others. He’s repped by ICM Partners.