Oblivion Helmer Joseph Kosinski Takes on The Trials of White Boy Rick

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TRON: Legacy and Oblivion helmer Joseph Kosinski is stepping outside the science fiction genre for this next project, The Trials of White Boy Rick. The Hollywood Reporter has the news, bringing word that Kosinski will direct the true story of a teen drug dealer who, in the late 1980s, began working as a police informant.

Universal Pictures is developing The Trials of White Boy Rick, based on an article by Evan Hughes that ran in Atavist last month. The full text is available to purchase right here with the following official description:

It was the spring of 1987, and crack cocaine had turned whole swaths of Detroit into veritable combat zones. The city thought it had seen everything – until one evening that May, when the police arrested a 17-year-old kid named Rick Wershe.

They called him White Boy Rick. In a city known for its fraught racial divide, Wershe had somehow joined the ranks of the drug kingpins on the predominantly black East Side before he was old enough to shave. He flew in kilos of cocaine from Miami and drove a white Jeep with THE SNOWMAN emblazoned across the back. An incredulous judge once compared him to the gangster “Baby Face” Nelson. He seemed more an urban legend than a real person – and then his story got even stranger. Years later, while he was in prison for cocaine possession, Wershe claimed he had been working with the FBI since he was 14. Was one of Detroit’s most notorious criminals also one of the feds’ most valuable informants in the city?

Dylan Clark and Scott Stuber will produce through Bluegrass Films with Evan Ratliff executive producing for Atavist. Erik Baiers and Sara Scott will oversee for Universal and Michael Clear will oversee for Bluegrass.