EXCLUSIVE: Paramount and Indian Paintbrush won a heated auction for screen rights on A Murder Foretold, a lengthy article in the April 4 issue of The New Yorker by David Grann about a series of high-level murders in Guatemala. It takes place in a country devastated by killings routinely perpetrated by everyone from secret police to drug dealers who acted with impunity. In that backdrop, a wealthy businessman who’d watched his wife-to-be get assassinated along with her father, stirred up the entire country — from the grave. After he too was gunned down while riding his bicycle, Rodrigo Rosenberg finally did something that snapped the country to do something about the rampant murders that often involved corrupt government officials. At his funeral, he had an intermediary disperse copies of a videocassette he had recorded himself. In stunning fashion, he implicated the president, his wife, and other close aides in his killing. It set off a maelstrom that led to the appointment of a special prosecutor, who followed a trail of clues to solve the crime that led to a most shocking conclusion. I won’t reveal it here, but you can read the article. The end result: the murder provided the first real impetus for a crackdown on violence in Guatemala. (more…)