Paramount Pictures and Academy Award winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed) just snatched up some rather riveting yet tragic source material. Via his two-year first-look deal with Paramount through his company Henceforth Pictures, Monahan will adapt Sarah Stillman’s 2012 true-crime New Yorker article, “The Throwaways.”
The piece chronicles what happened when police turned young offenders into informants and sent them on dangerous and disturbingly risky assignments. Hit the jump for more on the planned The Throwaways adaptation.
The Deadline article doesn’t reveal what direction Monahan is going in with this one, but Stillman’s piece does give him quite a few options. It opens with the story of a 23-year-old woman who was caught with a little more than five ounces of pot and some Ecstasy and Valium pills, talked into assisting the local narcotics team and then sent on a mission that required her to meet a pair of convicted felons by herself and purchase two and half ounces of cocaine, 1,500 Ecstasy pills and a semi-automatic weapon. She ultimately lost contact with the 19 law-enforcement agents tracking her and was discovered dead two days later.
There’s also the story of a sixteen-year-old boy who was taken into custody after punching his school’s assistant principal. He was given the option of facing a prison term or becoming a drug informant. He chose the latter. In a decision a state attorney called “the most ‘reckless, stupid, and idiotic idea’ he had seen in his nineteen years of legal work,” the boy was required to testify against a local drug dealer and then purchase drugs from that very same man the next day. Yet again, the detectives lost track of him and ultimately, he was found dead.
These two accounts only scratch the surface of Stillman’s piece, which I highly recommend checking out in full right here. There’s no word on when Monahan will move forward with this one. The Gambler and Mojave are both in post-production, but Monahan is attached to quite a few other projects, so it’s impossible to say when he’ll get moving with this one.