Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More First Reviews For 'Terminator Genisys' Suggest Franchise Didn't Need To Say "I'll Be Back" First Reviews For 'Terminator Genisys' Suggest Franchise Didn't Need To Say "I'll Be Back" Kit Harington & Dakota Fanning Replace Robert Pattinson & Mia Wasikowska In 'Brimstone' Kit Harington & Dakota Fanning Replace Robert Pattinson & Mia Wasikowska In 'Brimstone' The Essentials: The 5 Best Colin Farrell Perfomances The Essentials: The 5 Best Colin Farrell Perfomances The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Mark Wahlberg & Peter Berg Reteaming For 'American Desperado'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 27, 2013 at 5:12PM

So, you might not remember this, but a few years ago, David O. Russell and Mark Wahlberg were looking to make a feature adaptation of the critically acclaimed documentary "Cocaine Cowboys." The 2006 film centered on the notorious '70s drug dealer Jon Roberts who moved from New York, where he was involved in gangland takeovers of the city's nightclubs, to Miami, where he was set up with a powerful drug cartel. And it seemed like the Russell/Wahlberg project was really coming along. "We’ve the rights of those guys, Jon Roberts and Mickey Munday, and set it at Paramount as well. Evan Wright did a pass on the script and will have somebody else doing another," Walhberg said at the time. But the filmmaker and actor fell out, with both moving on to other separate things, but it seems Wahlberg really wants to make the movie about this story.
1
American Desperados Mark Wahlberg Peter Berg

So, you might not remember this, but a few years ago, David O. Russell and Mark Wahlberg were looking to make a feature adaptation of the critically acclaimed documentary "Cocaine Cowboys." The 2006 film centered on the notorious '70s drug dealer Jon Roberts who moved from New York, where he was involved in gangland takeovers of the city's nightclubs, to Miami, where he was set up with a powerful drug cartel. And it seemed like the Russell/Wahlberg project was really coming along. "We’ve the rights of those guys, Jon Roberts and Mickey Munday, and set it at Paramount as well. Evan Wright did a pass on the script and will have somebody else doing another," Walhberg said at the time. But the filmmaker and actor fell out, with both moving on to other separate things, but it seems Wahlberg really wants to make the movie about this story.

And so, the Paramount project lives, but instead of being based on the documentary, it was a new script coming from William Monahan ("The Departed," "Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For") and is based on the book "American Desperado," co-authored by the aforementioned duo of Jon Roberts and screenwriter Evan Wright. And we can see why Wahlberg wants this story up on the big screen. It's a juicy lead role, focusing on a man who did it all --  ran guns for the CIA, smuggled cocaine and cash for the Medellín Cartel, rolled with celebs and powerful figures like Jimi Hendrix, Richard Pryor, O.J. Simpson, Carlo Gambino, Meyer LanskyManuel Noriega and many more. Here's the book synopsis from Amazon:

American Desperado is Roberts’ no-holds-barred account of being born into Mafia royalty, witnessing his first murder at the age of seven, becoming a hunter-assassin in Vietnam, returning to New York to become -- at age 22 -- one of the city’s leading nightclub impresarios, then journeying to Miami where in a few short years he would rise to become the Medellin Cartel’s most effective smuggler.
 
But that’s just half the tale.  
 
The roster of Roberts’ friends and acquaintances reads like a Who’s Who of the latter half of the 20th century and includes everyone from Jimi Hendrix, Richard Pryor, and O.J. Simpson to Carlo Gambino, Meyer Lansky, and Manuel Noriega.
 

Nothing if not colorful, Roberts surrounded himself with beautiful women, drove his souped-up street car at a top speed of 180 miles per hour, shared his bed with a 200-pound cougar, and employed a 6”6” professional wrestler called “The Thing” as his bodyguard.  Ultimately, Roberts became so powerful that he attracted the attention of the Republican Party’s leadership, was wooed by them, and even was co-opted by the CIA for which he carried out its secret agenda.

And this is one that everyone involved wants to get moving. Wahlberg's new bud and "Lone Survivor" helmer Peter Berg is slated to direct, and should all the elements fall into place, this will start rolling in early 2014. Frankly, we'd prefer this to the B-movie chum Wahlberg has been doing lately ("Contraband," "Broken City," "2 Guns") so let's hope the wheels are truly turning. [Deadline]

This article is related to: Mark Wahlberg, Peter Berg, American Desperado, William Monahan


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates