Transnational Terminator: Michael Mann Acquires Rights To Paul Le Roux’s Reign Of Terror
Only a week ago, Paul Le Roux took the stand to testify about his 20-year run as an international outlaw, detailing murder, mayhem, and even arming a 200-man militia in Somalia while devising plans to use mercenaries to overthrow the government of Seychelles. According to the NYT, who are covering the murder conspiracy trial of three soldiers-of-fortune on the boss' payroll who stand accused of killing a Filipino real-estate agent in 2012:
"...Mr. Le Roux confessed to an astonishing array of crimes. He said he had once sold missile technology to Iran, shipped guns from Indonesia, and trafficked methamphetamines out of North Korea. He calmly told a jury in New York that he had taken part in at least five murders."
In case you're reading this and thinking "man, Le Roux's story would make for a helluva movie", Michael Mann's already beaten you to the punch. According to Deadline, Mann's inked a deal under the publishing imprint he established with HarperCollins - called simply 'Michael Mann Books' - acquiring publishing rights to a non-fiction work Elaine Shannon has penned regarding Le Roux's exploits. Along with the printed edition, Mann's purchased the film and television rights to Shannon's story as well.
This isn't the first time Mann has taken an interest in the journalist's writings. Back in 1988, the investigative reporter - who's worked for both Time and Newsweek - wrote the celebrated true crime tome Desperados, which Mann transformed into the Emmy-winning NBC miniseries Drug Wars: The Camarena Story. Desperados detailed the 1985 torture and murder of undercover DEA agent Kimi Camarena by Mexican cartel lords, whose methods seemed to also be cribbed for Denis Villeneuve's equally horrifying drug war saga, Sicario.
Meanwhile, we're still waiting on Mann to continue moving forward on his biopic of Enzo Ferrari - which, last we heard, Hugh Jackman was set to headline, along with Noomi Rapace. There haven't been any real developments on that project (though this writer can confess to having read the script and enjoying it quite a bit). Seeing how Mann just turned 75 two months ago, his die hard followers hope the legendary auteur gets cracking on all these projects rather quickly, as we'd hate to see him leave anything this fascinating on the table.