Fresh off his turn as a blood-thirsty witch hunter in the aptly named Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, star Jeremy Renner is turning his attention to something a bit more serious. Deadline reports that Renner is set to star in the thriller Kill the Messenger, which is based on the true story of a news reporter named Gary Webb whose life was ruined when he linked the CIA to a scheme to arm Contra rebels in Nicaragua and import cocaine into California. After publishing his 1996 series “Dark Alliance,” Webb became the target of a smear campaign by the CIA that eventually drove him to depression and suicide.
It’s certainly a meaty role for Renner, and one I’m eager to see him take on following his recent string of actioners. Michael Cuesta (Homeland, Dexter) will direct from a script by Peter Landesman, which is based on two non-fiction books: Webb’s Dark Alliance and Nick Schou’s Kill the Messenger. Renner will also produce alongside Dan Handfield, and production is set to get underway this summer after the actor wraps his role in David O. Russell’s untitled 1980s drama.