I once read a quote from Antoine Fuqua where he characterized his next film to be Training Day 400 AD, the film he was describing was American Gangster, a film which he ultimately quit citing “creative differences.”
The film was in pre-production at Universal at the time and the fate of the film seemed bleak, but with Denzel Washington and Benicio del Toro already attached to star this is one the U could not give up on and they haven’t as it was announced today by Variety that Hotel Rwanda helmer Terry George is now aboard to direct.
The film is based on a New York Magazine article by Mark Jacobson, which depicted the true story of Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas (Washington), who smuggled heroin in the caskets of soldiers killed in Vietnam. He was eventually caught by New York detective Richie Roberts (Del Toro), who got Lucas to turn his talents toward catching the crooked cops and drug dealers who profited from his scheme.
Since the film seemed to Universal paid out its pay-or-play obligations, which Variety estimates at approximately $20 million leaving no one attached to the film, but with George now aboard it seems eyes are turning to Don Cheadle for the role of Frank Lucas since he and George worked so well on Hotel Rwanda.
Since the original problem with the film was money the script is currently being reworked so the film can be executed stylishly for a reduced price. This means casting announcements will not be made for some time now.