David O. Russell Considers COCAINE COWBOYS With Mark Wahlberg

     February 22, 2011

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Mark Wahlberg has since 2008 been attached to Cocaine Cowboys, based on the Billy Corben documentary of the same name about late 70s/early 80s Miami drug trafficker Jon Roberts.  Wahlberg reaffirmed his involvement this summer, informing us that writers were working on the script.  Seven months later: Cocaine Cowboys is in the market for a director.  On the heels of the success of The Fighter, Wahlberg understandably turns to frequent collaborator David O. Russell.

The Playlist caught up with Russell at the ACE Eddie Awards, where he revealed that Cocaine Cowboys is among the many projects he is considering as his follow-up to The Fighter.  Hit the jump for a recap of Russell’s options and more on Cocaine Cowboys.

Russell has been linked to:

  • Uncharted – an adaptation of the adventure video game starring — you guessed it — Mark Wahlberg
  • The Silver Lining’s Playbook – an adaptation of the Matthew Quick novel with Anne Hathaway and Bradley Cooper mentioned for the leads
  • A Dirty Harry-esque cop drama with Ice Cube
  • 2 Guns – a comic adaptation starring Vince Vaughn
  • Under Cover - a comedy in which Jim Carrey joins a cover band
  • Old St. Louis – a drama in the vein of Paper Moon, with Vince Vaughn and Chloe Moretz attached to star

cocaine-cowboys-posterThere are even a couple more — Sammy’s Hill and All About Me — listed on Russell’s IMDb page, but those could be left over from the pre-Fighter era.  Russell is currently prepping Uncharted, but sounds uncertain which project he’ll tackle next.

As a fan of his work, it’s great to see Russell recover from a marred public image and the production fiasco of Nailed.  (Jessica Biel, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kirstie Alley, James Marsden, and Catherine Keener star in the political comedy, which has nearly all the footage it needs in the can.  But due to financing issues, they were never able to film a crucial scene or two, and Nailed will probably never see the light of day.)

I’m not particularly looking forward to the Uncharted adaptation, so I don’t mind that Russell seems to be distracted by this cinematic buffet.  Cocaine Cowboys sounds like a fine dish.

Here’s the synopsis for the original 2006 documentary:

In the early ’80s, a new business emerged in Miami, FL, that changed the face of the city forever. That business was cocaine smuggling; as America developed a growing appetite for the drug, Colombian suppliers found that Miami was a good place to bring it into the United States, and a new breed of outlaws were more than happy to face the risks of importing cocaine in exchange for the massive profits to be made. At one time, cocaine runners were making so much money that the city’s banks were running out of room to store the cash, and smugglers were developing new ways to move the product, from floating tanks with radio tracking devices dropped into the ocean to cars stashed with drugs so well-connected drivers with tow trucks could haul them away and abandon them if necessary. [AMC]

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