Ron Howard to Direct MENA Based on the True Story of Gun-Runner and Drug Trafficker Barry Seal

     February 10, 2014


As I said in my review of Ron Howard‘s latest film, Rush, I really hope the director has turned a corner in his career.  His upcoming film, In the Heart of the Sea, has great source material, but the director is then slated to direct an adaptation of Dan Brown‘s Robert Langdon novel Inferno with Tom Hanks returning to play the role.  However, movement on that film has been quiet even though it’s set for a December 2015 release.  It’s possible Howard will instead move to direct Gary Spinelli‘s spec script Mena, which Universal just paid a cool $1 million for after winning a bidding war with Sony.

Hit the jump for more.

Per Deadline:

“The spec is a fact-based tale about Barry Seal, a portly pilot who, in the 1980s, was a 300-pound gun runner, and drug trafficker who transported contraband for the CIA and the Medellin cartel. He was eventually shot to death by the latter in Baton Rouge. The title refers to Mena, Arkansas, where a lot of the illegal activity took place, under the noses of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.”

Hat tip to The Playlist for digging up this news report about Seal’s death:



  • Beezlebubb

    Interesting to see my hometown getting immortalized with a Ron Howard pic, even if it’s about the bad shit that happened in it. Classy.

  • Mixed Race rich kid NYC

    How the fuck does ron Howard keep getting work with universal ????
    Every freaking movie he does for them those last years bombs !!!!!

    It’s like 20th century fox and Ridley Scott relationship

    I just don’t get it

    • Strong Enough

      worldwide sales

  • Mena native

    Awesome! So excited to see this movie! Ron Howard is brillant!!

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