Although he still harbours ambitions of another outing in the Alien franchise, it seems that director Ridley Scott is set to follow up All the Money in the World with The Cartel, an adaptation of Don Winslow’s novel.
Scott first attached himself to the project – which revolves around the Mexican drug cartels, and includes a fictionalised take on El Chapo’s daring prison escape – back in 2015, and now screenwriter David Scarpa has been chatting to Collider about what we can expect from the adaptation.
“Part of [the appeal of The Cartel] was Don Winslow’s book, which is this big sweeping Dickensian book that kind of can’t be adapted,” said Scarpa. “Not only is it 600 pages long, but it’s 600 incredibly dense pages. Like very densely plotted and very full of politics and culture and like six different character storylines and all that stuff, so it’s really about sort of managing to capture the essence of it, and yet also sort of reconceive it almost as a companion piece to the book. The idea being we can’t possibly deliver you the same experience that’s in the book, but we can deliver you an experience that is kind of complimentary to it.”
Scarpa went on to touch upon Scott’s vision for the movie, stating that: “Ridley’s got sort of a big ambition for the movie. I think he sees it as a big sort of sprawling epic, and yet it’s also the battle to keep the thing economical as well, in a sort of Godfather kind of sense, and that’s incredibly interesting as well.”
The Amazon description for The Cartel reads:
It’s 2004. DEA agent Art Keller has been fighting the war on drugs for thirty years in a blood feud against Adan Barrera, the head of El Federación, the world’s most powerful cartel, and the man who brutally murdered Keller’s partner. Finally putting Barrera away costs Keller dearly – the woman he loves, the beliefs he cherishes, the life he wants to lead.
Then Barrera gets out, determined to rebuild the empire that Keller shattered. Unwilling to live in a world with Barrera in it, Keller goes on a ten-year odyssey to take him down. His obsession with justice – or is it revenge – becomes a ruthless struggle that stretches from the cities, mountains and deserts of Mexico, to Washington’s corridors of power, to the streets of Berlin and Barcelona.
Keller fights his personal battle against the devastated backdrop of Mexico’s drug war, a conflict of unprecedented scale and viciousness, as cartels vie for power and he comes to the final reckoning with Barrera – and himself – that he always knew must happen.