A couple of projects developing in Hollywood have an interesting overlap going as both Kill The Messenger from Focus and a film from Nick Cassavetes will feature famous crack cocaine kingpin “Freeway” Rick Ross in the near future.
This isn’t quite a case of “dueling-project syndrome,” but the venn diagram of the two films overlaps at Rick Ross, who has been long-set to be played by Nick Cannon in the biopic (with the direct involvement of Rick Ross). Kill The Messenger, however, is the newer project and will feature HBO staple Michael K. Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, Snitch) in the Ross role.
The size of Williams’ role is unclear, but Kill The Messenger is largely Jeremy Renner’s show as he plays whistle-blowing journalist Gary Webb, who blew the lid off of the CIA’s involvement in drug running and Contras funding. This was seriously heavy shit he was digging into, and he was eventually cut loose by his publisher. After he was found dead of two gunshot wounds (dubiously ruled as a suicide at the time) his findings were slowly validated by further reporting.
All that to say the Renner film is set to be an edgy geo-political thriller about the US government’s hand in the flooding of crack onto American streets. The Cannon vehicle will be much more focused on the story of said flooding, and the street level drama that went down around it. Rick Ross was a major playor in that world, responsible for shepherding many tons of crack into the states and accumulating profits north of half-a-billion-dollars before he was tried and convicted of trafficking. (His sentence has been reduced and commuted a few times and he was released in 2009.)
Both projects sound pretty interesting frankly, though it’s especially exciting to know Omar will be running around the streets of Atlanta as soon as a few weeks from now…