“The Cartel” Scribe Talks Scott’s Adaptation

With “Alien: Covenant” and “All the Money in the World” now all finished, Ridley Scott is getting ready to direct an adaptation of Don Winslow’s novel “The Cartel” as his next project.

Winslow’s book covers roughly a decade in the world of the Mexican drug cartels, including an account of El Chapo’s 2001 prison escape. David Scarpa, who penned ‘All the Money’, is also writing “The Cartel” adaptation and spoke about how he had to move away from the source material in order to pull it off. He tells Collider:

“Part of [the appeal of The Cartel] was Don Winslow’s book, which is this big sweeping Dickensian book that kind of can’t be adapted. Not only is it 600 pages long, but it’s 600 incredibly dense pages. Like very densely plotted and very full of politics and culture and like six different character storylines and all that stuff.

So it’s really about sort of managing to capture the essence of it, and yet also sort of re-conceive it almost as a companion piece to the book. The idea being we can’t possibly deliver you the same experience that’s in the book, but we can deliver you an experience that is kind of complimentary to it.

Ridley’s got sort of a big ambition for the movie. I think he sees it as a big sort of sprawling epic, and yet it’s also the battle to keep the thing economical as well, in a sort of Godfather kind of sense, and that’s incredibly interesting as well.”

Scarpa also says one thing the film will likely touch upon, that isn’t in the book which came out in 2015, is the new relationship between the United States and Mexico in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency.

“The Cartel” doesn’t yet have a start of production date, but Scott wants to film it next and at the rate he works it could well be out in cinemas before this time next year.