Daniel Espinosa to Direct Adaptation of John Grisham's 'Racketeer'
In the mid-90s, it seemed only a few months would pass until another film adaptation of a John Grisham novel popped up at a multiplex. The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Chamber, and The Rainmaker all came out between 1993-1997, adding to Grisham's legacy as one of America's most popular thriller writers. The most recent film adaptations of his work, Runaway Jury and Christmas with the Kranks, weren't big successes, but THR reports that a film version of Grisham's newest novel, The Racketeer, will hit the big screen under the direction of Safe House helmer Daniel Espinosa. Read on!
Here's the official synopsis of The Racketeer from Amazon:
Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered.
Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.
Who is the Racketeer? And what does he have to do with the judge’s untimely demise? His name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? The Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland.
On paper, Malcolm’s situation isn’t looking too good these days, but he’s got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge’s body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied.
What was in the safe? The FBI would love to know. And Malcolm Bannister would love to tell them. But everything has a price—especially information as explosive as the sequence of events that led to Judge Fawcett’s death. And the Racketeer wasn’t born yesterday…
Sounds like a legal thriller heavily influenced by The Silence of the Lambs. This movie will definitely be unlike any of Espinosa's mainstream work so far, and we're looking forward to seeing if he can adapt to a new genre and take what could be a cut-and-dry thriller and give it a more stylistic spin. He has the Tom Hardy thriller Child 44 lined up to shoot in March, so it's a toss-up to see whether The Racketeer or his Yakuza action movie The Outsider goes before cameras first.
Fox 2000 and New Regency are teaming with Double Feature Films to bring The Racketeer to the screen, with Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher producing while Espinosa and Shelley Browning executive produce. The search for a writer is underway, but if the hunt proves tougher than expected, maybe Grisham himself could write it; he's tackled a screenplay once before, writing the 1994 family baseball drama Mickey. Either way, this will be the first Grisham thriller in over ten years, so expect middle America to eat it up.