Jose Padilha Teams with 'Gran Torino' Writer for 'Tri-Border' Thriller
The Brazilian filmmaker is already slated to direct the long-gestating reboot of RoboCop, but now Jose Padilha has another project for his future slate as well. Heat Vision reports the Elite Squad director is set to helm a new thriller from Gran Torino writer Nick Schenk. Called Tri-Border, the film, being shot in English, takes place in the infamous lawless South American zone trisected by Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, where competing crime organizations and law enforcement agencies fight for the upper hand. Surprisingly, this has nothing to do with Kathryn Bigelow's Triple Frontier, that deals with the same setting.
The story in Tri-Border follows a Boston-based DEA agent who is unwillingly sent to Paraguay for having busted the son of an US senator during a drug raid. The script will explore the ins-and-outs of the different crime organizations and law enforcement agencies in the tri-border zone, as the agent strives to understand how the place works in order to capture his ticket back home, a leading drug dealer. Padilha goes on to say:
"The idea is to have a political film hidden inside an action film, a film that can entertain and teach people about the tri-border and the international crime in general. It’s a different reality, in a totally different environment: the frontier of three countries, in which one finds many different players operating, ranging from Italian, Chinese and Serbian mafias, to Bolivian, Colombian and Brazilian drug dealers, including Lebanese smugglers suspected of helping Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as corrupted police and politicians from Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.”
Padilha and Schenk have been conducting research in the area for the film. Schenk says, "How can you write about something like the tri-border area without ever seeing it first hand? I've learned that landlocked Paraguay has a Navy. I've also learned that the Brazilian Federal Police and the Paraguayan Navy commonly exchange gunfire on the river that separates the two countries." Sounds pretty intense, but I'm wondering if this will have any affect on Kathryn Bigelow's other project. Right now she's busy that that untitled Osama Bin Laden/Seal Team Six film, so who knows what will happen. However, with all the good things I'm hearing about Elite Squad, I think Padilha is going to be a name to keep an eye on, especially with RoboCop.