Joe Carnahan in Talks to Direct Chuck Hogan Adaptation SUGAR BANDITS

     April 29, 2013


While director Joe Carnahan’s 2011 film The Grey received some much-deserved praise from critics and a solid box office take, he’s had a bit of trouble getting his follow-up feature off the ground.  Carnahan was developing a remake of Death Wish at Paramount for the better part of a year, only to leave the project over a difference of opinion with the studio regarding the film’s casting.  Carnahan also flirted with possibly taking on a hard-boiled 1970s iteration of Daredevil at Fox, but the ticking clock due to the character rights proved to be an immovable stumbling block, and Marvel has now regained control of the superhero character.

However, Carnahan has now added a new project to his development slate, as he is currently in negotiations to write and direct an adaptation of the Chuck Hogan novel Devils in Exile for Universal called Sugar Bandits.  Hit the jump for more.

devils-in-exile-book-coverPer Heat Vision, Carnahan is in talks to come aboard Sugar Bandits at Universal.  Hogan—whose authorial credits also include The Town and The Strain, which he co-wrote with Guillermo del Toro—penned the screenplay for Sugar Bandits himself, based on his novel Devils in Exile.  The story centers on an Iraq War veteran who teams up with a crew of fellow vets to rip off Boston-area drug dealers for profit.  Their lives are soon put in jeopardy, and matters are further complicated when the protagonist becomes romantically involved with his employer’s girlfriend.

This sounds like the kind of gritty, character-driven story that’s right up Carnahan’s alley, and I’m looking forward to seeing what his take on the material entails.  The filmmaker also recently signed on to write and direct an adaptation of the graphic novel Undying Love for Warner Bros., but it’s unknown which project will come first for the director.  Either way, I hope Carnahan gets back in the director’s chair soon.

Read the synopsis for Devils in Exile below:

When Neal Maven and a crew of fellow Iraq War veterans begin ripping off Boston-area drug dealers for profit, their lives are quickly put into jeopardy. As Maven’s involvement deepens, two worrisome things happen: he begins to suspect that their leader has a sinister ulterior motive, and he lusts after the leader’s girl—a tough former model with a drug problem. As the rip-off jobs get riskier, Maven and his crew are soon pursued by both a smart federal DEA agent and by a pair of psychopathic Jamaican hit men on a drug lords’ payroll. When everything goes bad—and it goes very bad—Maven embarks on a one-man crusade to right the wrongs in which he unwittingly participated. Not everyone will survive his crusade, and Maven himself may not live to see the final outcome….

Vividly told and featuring a stunningly complex plot, Devils in Exile is Chuck Hogan’s most satisfying and powerful thriller yet. [Amazon]

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