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Published On: Sat, Jul 13th, 2013

‘Lone Ranger’ co-star Barry Pepper confirmed to join ‘Avengers’ star Jeremy Renner in ‘Kill The Messenger’

After a busy summer in The Lone Ranger and Snitch, Barry Pepper has signed for Michael Cuesta’s fact-based pic about a CIA smear campaign that led to a Pulitzer-winning journalist’s downfall.

In Kill The Messenger, Pepper will play federal prosecutor Russell Dodson, who is tasked with keeping a lid on the agency’s connection to the massive influx of cocaine into the U.S. by Nicaraguan contras. He tries to prevent investigative reporter Gary Webb (Bourne Legacy star Jeremy Renner) from running a series of newspaper articles about the case.

Barry Pepper Lone RangerFocus Features picked up worldwide rights to the pic ahead of Berlin with Renner also producing.

Production starts Monday in Atlanta.

Pepper, whose credits also include Saving Private Ryan to playing Dale Earnhardt in a TV biopic to True Grit.

From Amazonn:

Dark Alliance is a book that should be fiction, whose characters seem to come straight out of centralcasting: 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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