“Boardwalk Empire” star Michael K. Williams is currently in negotiations to play the infamous ‘Freeway’ Rick Ross alongside Jeremy Renner in Focus Features’ thriller “Kill the Messenger.”
According to a report by the TheWrap, “Williams is eager to tackle the brief-yet-key role but will have to overcome a significant obstacle and work out shooting dates with his Boardwalk producers, as Kill the Messenger starts production in the coming weeks in Atlanta.”
Based on Nick Schou’s book of the same name, “Kill the Messenger” depicts the true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Gary Webb, whose reporting exposed the CIA’s involvement in helping Nicaragua’s Contra rebels import cocaine into California during the 1980s. Webb was found shot to death in 2004. His death was ruled a suicide by the coroner, but many have suspected foul play was involved.
‘The real’ Rick Ross will be depicted as a wealthy, powerful drug dealer who’s in jail awaiting trial on trafficking charges. Webb reportedly enlightened him on his role as a pawn in a larger game being played by the CIA and the U.S. government.
Now out of prison and currently working on his own biopic with writer Nick Cassavetes, ‘Freeway’ Rick Ross released a statement about his connection to “Kill the Messenger” and how it will affect the making of the film about his life, tentatively titled “A Crack in the System.”
“Please be aware that I will still be moving forward with my motion picture written by Nick Cassavetes. I am not involved with ‘Kill the Messenger.’ This does not affect my relationship with Cassavetes or Nick Cannon. My story is the heart of what happened from 79-95. People have to understand Gary Webb came into the story 10 years after it was over. This is his story from the outside as a reporter. Much of how the actual explosion of crack happened and my life story won’t be in their piece. It will be in mine, along with the reality of the impact economically, socially and racially. We also have our documentary coming out directed by Marc Levin tentatively titled ‘A Crack in the System’ nearing completion.”
Between his breakout performance as Omar Little on “The Wire” and his current role as Chalky White on “Boardwalk Empire,” Williams would be a perfect typecast character for the role.
Michael Cuesta (“Homeland“) is directing the film based on a script by Peter Landesman. Jeremy Scott Stuber is producing under his Bluegrass Films banner along with The Combine’s Renner and Don Handfield, as well as Naomi Despres. Landesman will executive produce. No release date has been set.