New Line has acquired the true crime saga, Dukes of Oxy, with Michael De Luca in talks to produce and Ansel Elgort circling a leading role. Based on the ‘Rolling Stone’ article by Guy Lawson (who also wrote the article that inspired Todd Phillips‘ Arms and Dudes), Dukes of Oxy recounts the true-life story of Doug Dodd and Lance Barabas, a pair of Florida-based teenagers who built a multi-million dollar drug-smuggling business, blackmarketing OxyContin and other painkillers.
Per Deadline, Elgort is in talks to star as Dodd, the level-headed member of the drug smuggling duo. At the start of their enterprise, Dodd sought advice from an ex-con family member, who did time for dealing drugs, and learned a set of useful rules – don’t talk on the phone, no guns, cut ties with anyone under investigation – sensible drug dealing stuff.
The pair got away with their crimes for a long time, using tricks like concealing drugs in a vitamin bottle and receiving payment in hollowed-out stuffed animals, and they amassed a fortune in the process. But as their empire grew, and they regularly got high on their own supply, eventually the duo broke all their rules and wound up getting caught when law enforcement cracked down on blackmarket painkillers.
Dukes of Oxy will be De Luca’s first collaboration with New Line in many years, and his first project outside Universal since he left his post as president of production at Sony. While at New Line, De Luca championed arthouse films like Se7en and Boogie Nights, as well as commercial hits like Austin Powers and Rush Hour. Most recently, he’s been a major player in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise for Universal.