Ridley Scott Takes on The Cartel, Leonardo DiCaprio Courted to Star

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Ridley Scott has plans to adapt The Cartel.

Ridley Scott will adapt Don Winslow’s The Cartel for 20th Century Fox

While his latest, The Martian, is set to hit the big screen October 2, Ridley Scott has, according to a story published today at The Hollywood Reporter, signed on to helm a big screen adaptation of author Don Winslow’s recent bestseller, The Cartel. What’s more, Deadline chimed in soon thereafter with the update that 20th Century Fox is looking to get Leonardo DiCaprio to headline.

Published just last month, The Cartel is officially described on Don Winslow’s official site as follows:

From the internationally best-selling author of the acclaimed novel The Power of the Dog comes The Cartel, a gripping, true-to-life, ripped-from-the-headlines epic story of power, corruption, revenge, and justice spanning the past decade of the Mexican-American drug wars.

It’s 2004. DEA agent Art Keller has been fighting the war on drugs for thirty years in a blood feud against Adán Barrera, the head of El Federación, the world’s most powerful cartel, and the man who brutally murdered Keller’s partner. Finally putting Barrera away cost Keller dearly—the woman he loves, the beliefs he cherishes, the life he wants to lead.

Then Barrera gets out, determined to rebuild the empire that Keller shattered. Unwilling to live in a world with Barrera in it, Keller goes on a ten-year odyssey to take him down. His obsession with justice—or is it revenge?—becomes a ruthless struggle that stretches from the cities, mountains, and deserts of Mexico to Washington’s corridors of power to the streets of Berlin and Barcelona.
Keller fights his personal battle against the devastated backdrop of Mexico’s drug war, a conflict of unprecedented scale and viciousness, as cartels vie for power and he comes to the final reckoning with Barrera—and himself—that he always knew must happen.

The Cartel is a story of revenge, honor, and sacrifice, as one man tries to face down the devil without losing his soul. It is the story of the war on drugs and the men—and women—who wage it.

Assuming he signs on, DiCaprio would play the Keller role in the feature film adaptation, which will likely blend plot elements of The Cartel with its literary predecessor, The Power of the Dog. Winslow’s creative partner, Shane Salerno will provide the screenplay. Salerno previously provided the screenplay for Oliver Stone’s recent Winslow adaptation, Savages.