'Breaking Bad' Writer & Rupert Sanders on '90 Church' Crime Thriller

August 13, 2013

Rupert Sanders / 90 Church

Though he was once on the shortlist to direct Pirates of the Caribbean 5, that job went to Kon-Tiki directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. But the Snow White and the Huntsman director lined up a new project in the form of The Kill List. Not to be confused with Ben Wheatley's crime thriller Kill List, this new project is an adaptation of author Frederick Forsyth's espionage thriller novel of the same name, which is slated to hit shelves this month. But now Deadline has word that Sanders is also slated to direct an adaptation of the book 90 Church: The True Story of the Narcotics Squad from Hell. More below!

Here's the official synopsis of the book which isn't very easy to find anymore:

From 1950 through the late 1960s, America feared two great enemies: Communism and illegal drugs. While the espionage stories have been well publicised, the war against drugs was far more violent and has remained mostly secret. In New York City, the centre of organised crime and drug import, the offices of the newly formed Federal Bureau of Narcotics were based at 90 Church Street. While the FBI refused even to acknowledge organised crime, these agents stood alone against a well-organised Mafia and vicious drug cartels. To survive against impossible odds, the agents used incredibly brutal and cunning tactics to make cases and bring the war to a stalemate. Using an ever-expanding network of criminal informants held together by secret immunity deals, the sinister reputation of 90 Church grew along with the rising body count.

In 1968, alarmed politicians launched an ill-fated investigation into the Bureau's operations. Accusations were made against the agents, and now fighting a war on two fronts, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics was dissolved and its agents discredited.

Though some names and sequences have been changed to protect identities, 90 Church is the real story of a young agent's downward slide into hell as he falls victim to addiction, deception, violence, and shifting loyalties.

That story sounds pretty cool, and to make this deal even more appealing, "Breaking Bad' writer and producer George Mastras (he wrote the revered episode Dead Freight) will adapt the book by Dean Unkefer which was purchased preemptively last year. Unkefer and his book is a great source for a realistic look into this real-life account of crime in history since the author was a former agent with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Hopefully the film succeeds where something like this year's lackluster Gangster Squad fails, and puts more effort into the story to accompany the visuals. Interested?

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