Next week the Berlin Film Market begins and we’re already getting some advanced news by way of Deadline. They’re reporting that long gestating Kill the Messenger is finally moving into production with known other than Jeremy Renner taking the lead role of journalist Gary Webb. Kill the Messenger is based on the true story concerning the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter’s suicide after being hounded and harassed by the CIA for his articles on the CIA, Contra rebels, and drug trafficking in the US. Michael Cuesta (Homeland) is attached to direct.
The screenplay, written by Peter Landesman (Parkland) is based on two books on the subject: "Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion," that was written by Webb, and Nick Schou's "Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb." The second book was written after his death in 2004.
If done right, this is the kind of story that can generate a lot of buzz, none the least, the shiney gold Oscar kind. Also of particular note is the film’s timing as we’re still seeing the internet and public outcry concerning the circumstances that led up to the terrible suicide of Aaron Swartz. Anytime we can put unscrupulous government bureaucrats and their minions under the public microscope through the use of biopics is never a bad thing.