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Michael K. Williams Eyeing 'Freeway' Rick Ross Role In 'Kill The Messenger' w/ Jeremy Renner

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 8, 2013 at 6:06PM

It's not the planned biopic on 1980s drug lord 'Freeway' Rick Ross that we've been following for a couple of years or more now.
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Michael K Williams
"Boardwalk Empire" Photo Michael K Williams

It's not the planned biopic on 1980s drug lord 'FreewayRick Ross that we've been following for a couple of years or more now.

Instead, according to The Wrap, Ross will be a character in a feature film based on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb (to be played by Jeremy Renner), who, thanks to his reporting, exposed the CIA's involvement in helping Nicaragua's Contra rebels import cocaine into California during the 1980s.

Webb died in 2004, shot dead in what was initially determined to be a suicide, but some believe he may have instead been murdered.

This new project, based on a novel titled Kill the Messenger by Nick Schou, will see Michael K. Williams potential star as Ross (The Wrap says he's in negotiations) in a Focus Features production. 

Michael Cuesta (Homeland) will direct from a script penned by Peter Landesman (also will executive produce) who adapted Schou's novel. 

Scott Stuber is producing through his Bluegrass Films banner along with Renner and Don Handfield, as well as Naomi Despres.

The biopic mentioned at the start of this post will explore Ross's ingenious and complex scheme of the crack cocaine trade in Los Angeles during the early 80s - the height of his success - moving 100 kilograms of cocaine daily, which was distributed across the country - product that he claims was supplied by Nicaraguan rebels/Contras.

So you can see the connection to Kill The Messenger there.

But we won't be seeing that film anytime soon. Last we reported on it, in March, the real-life Rick Ross and Nick Cannon announced that Cannon will star in the movie, as Rick Ross.

Nick Cassevetes was previously involved in the project, behind the camera, but no word on whether he still is currently. 

And we have no idea whether financing has been secured for the film, who else might be involved, when production might start, etc...

We've been tracking this for a few years now, so let's see if this actually goes anywhere with Cannon attached.

But I'd bet that we'll see Kill The Messenger, the project that tells the journalist's story, before we see the Ross biopic.

This article is related to: Michael K. Williams


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