Matt Damon is ready to get back in the drivers’ seat with his “Ford v. Ferrari” director James Mangold for “The Force,” an adaptation of the 2017 Don Winslow novel for 20th Century Pictures, Deadline reports.
Deadline describes Damon’s part (and the movie in general) thusly: “Damon is attached to play Denny Malone, a NYPD detective who runs an elite crime fighting squad, but bends the law so often that he loses the line between good and evil and becomes ensnared in a pending corruption scandal. To stop the city’s long-simmering racial tensions from exploding, he must reconcile the idealistic guardian he still views himself to be, with the corrupt cop he’s become. He under siege from all sides: Harlem drug gangs, the mob he’s in bed with, the brother cops he’s about to destroy, the mayor’s office who fears what he knows and who he can implicate, the federal investigators who want to put him behind bars. But most of all, he struggles with the Faustian bargain on the table that will require him to testify against his loyal but dirty team, weighing loyalty to them over his own family.”
The script for “The Force” was originally written by David Mamet, but Mangold is currently overhauling it with Scott Frank, an unsung hero on Mangold’s two Wolverine movies. Ridley Scott and his Scott Free shingle are producing alongside Shane Salerno and Kevin Walsh from The Story Factory. (Damon is about to start shooting “The Last Duel” for Scott.) It’s unclear whether this film or Mangold’s Bob Dylan biopic “Going Electric” (for Searchlight Pictures), with Timothee Chalamet in the lead role, will go into production first. “Ford v. Ferrari” received four Oscar nominations last week, including Best Picture.
Winslow has had a rickety history with film adaptations of his work; “Savages” was adapted by Oliver Stone and was released to scathing reviews and middling box office and “The Winter of Frankie Machine” has been passed around Hollywood for years, attracting A-list directors like William Friedkin and Michael Mann taking shots at it at various times. His “Cartel” trilogy of books is being adapted into a series for FX currently and maybe he’ll have more luck on the small screen.