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Published On: Sat, Feb 2nd, 2013

Jeremy Renner to produce and star in CIA thriller ‘Kill the Messager’ based on ‘Dark Alliance’ novel

Fresh from a busy 2012 schedule, “Bourne Legacy” star Jeremy Renner has signed on for a new CIA thriller directed by Michael Cuesta of “Homeland.”

jeremy-renner-the-bourne-legacy photoDeadline reports that Renner is set to star in the thriller Kill the Messenger, which is based on the true story of a news reporter named Gary Webb whose life was ruined when he linked the CIA to a scheme to arm Contra rebels in Nicaragua and import cocaine into California.  After publishing his 1996 series “Dark Alliance,” Webb became the target of a smear campaign by the CIA that eventually drove him to depression and suicide.

Scott Stuber, who set up this project eight years ago as producer at Universal, will be joined by Renner and Don Handfield, and it will be a co-production between Stuber’s Bluegrass and Renner’s The Combine. Naomi Despres is also producing. The film begins production in the summer.

Cuesta will direct from a script by Peter Landesman. Renner will also produce alongside Dan Handfield, and production is set to get underway this summer after the actor wraps his role in David O. Russell’s untitled 1980s drama which co-stars Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and Amy Adams.

From Amazonn:

Dark Alliance is a book that should be fiction, whose characters seem to come straight out of central casting: the international drug lord, Norwin Meneses; the Contra cocaine broker with an MBA in marketing, Danilo Blandon; and the illiterate teenager from the inner city who rises to become the king of crack, “Freeway” Ricky Ross. But unfortunately, these characters are real and their stories are true.

In August 1996, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb stunned the world with a series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News reporting the results of his year-long investigation into the roots of the crack cocaine epidemic in America, specifically in Los Angeles. The series, titled “Dark Alliance,” revealed that for the better part of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to Los Angeles street gangs and funneled millions in drug profits to the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contras.

Now Gary Webb has pushed his investigation even further in his book, Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion. Drawing from recently declassified documents, undercover DEA audio and videotapes that have never been publicly released, federal court testimony, and interviews, Webb demonstrates how our government knowingly allowed massive amounts of drugs and money to change hands at the expense of our communities.

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About the Author

- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

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  1. Movie Listings for Feb. 1-7 | All About Books Online says:

    […] Jeremy Renner to produce and star in CIA thriller 'Kill the Messager' based on … Dark Alliance is a book that should be fiction, whose characters seem to come straight out of central casting: the international drug lord, Norwin Meneses; the Contra cocaine broker with an MBA in marketing, Danilo Blandon; and the illiterate teenager … Read more on The Global Dispatch […]

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