Focus Features has confirmed, via press release, the start of production on the ‘based on a true story’ dramatic thriller Kill the Messenger. Jeremy Renner stars in the film as “Gary Webb, the real-life dedicated reporter for The San Jose Mercury-News. In the 1990s, Webb uncovered the Central Intelligence Agency’s role in importing cocaine into California that was sold to raise money for the Nicaraguan Contras rebel army. Supported by his wife and children, Webb pursued the story and went public with his evidence. When targeted for a vicious smear campaign by the CIA and rival journalists, Webb found himself fighting for his reputation and his family.”
Michael Cuesta, who previously worked with Renner on the 2005 indie Twelve and Holding, will direct the film. Cuesta’s other feature film credits include the indies L.I.E., Tell Tale, and Roadie. While Kill the Messenger will be his biggest film project to date, his television credits are higher profile having been behind the camera for episodes of Six Feet Under, Dexter, Blue Bloods, and Homeland.
The film also stars Andy Garcia, Josh Close (The Master), Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married), Lucas Hedges (Moonrise Kingdom), Tim Blake Nelson (Lincoln), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2), Barry Pepper (The Lone Ranger), Oliver Platt (2012), Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon), Paz Vega (I’m So Excited!), Michael Kenneth Williams (Boardwalk Empire), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (The Spectacular Now).
Focus CEO James Schamus and co-CEO Andrew Karpen made the announcement today, saying “The story of Gary Webb, and the story he broke, is at once thrilling, emotional, and relevant to all of us in ‘the information age.’ Our team of filmmakers has been tireless in working to get this movie made, and we know that audiences will empathize with Jeremy’s compassionate portrayal of a man who did the right thing at great personal and professional cost.”
Kill the Messenger is set for release sometime next year.