EXCLUSIVE: New Regency has acquired the nonfiction book Marching Powder and will develop it as a star vehicle for Chiwetel Ejiofor. He is coming off an Oscar nomination for 12 Years A Slave, which New Regency produced with River Road, Plan B and Fox Searchlight released. Pic will be based on the Rusty Young and Thomas McFadden book Marching Powder: A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South America’s Strangest Jail.
Ejiofor will play McFadden, a convicted English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia’s notorious San Pedro prison. Young, an Australian journalist, heard about McFadden’s prison life while backpacking in South America, and he bribed the guards to allow him to live in the prison and share a cell with McFadden. The two went on to chronicle one of the strangest and most compelling prison stories of all time. Basically, the inmates ran the place. They were expected to buy their cells from real estate agents. There were shops and restaurants, and hundreds of women and children live with imprisoned family members. Corrupt politicians and drug lords lived in luxury apartments. While kids ran around during the day, some of Bolivia’s busiest cocaine laboratories percolated at night. (more…)