Ron Howard to Direct 80s Drug Trafficking Drama 'Mena' at Universal
After delivering the quality drama Rush, which was unfortunately mostly ignored by the Academy Award nominations despite being a better film as a whole than American Hustle, director Ron Howard is gearing up for yet another project at Universal Pictures. Deadline reports the studio has spent $1 million on a spec script for a drug trafficking drama called Mena from newcomer Gary Spinelli, and Howard is attached to direct with his Imagine Entertainment banner producing. Apparently the script was the source of a big auction that Sony lost out on after Universal offered sven figures along with a blind script commitment deal.
The film follows Barry Seal, a 300-pound pilot who made a living as a gun runner and drug trafficker who moved goods for the CIA and the infamous Medeillin drug cartel. The title is in reference to Mena, Arkansas, where a lot of this illegal activity happened and went unnoticed by the likes of Ronald Regan, George H. W. Bush and then-governor Bill Clinton, before Seal met a grisly end. This sounds like the kind of film where the characters will be the driving force in making it stand out over other similar drug trafficking dramas. At the very least, it sounds like something very different for Howard. Interested?