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Lionsgate is aiming to bring the story of the ATF’s gunwalking scandal to the big-screen.
The studio has picked up the rights to The Unarmed Truth: My Fight to Blow the Whistle and Expose Fast and Furious, a memoir written by ATF agent John Dodson, and has set Matthew Carnahan to pen the adaptation.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura will produce the adaptation, which will be titled River of Iron, with Josh Bratman and his Immersive Pictures banner. Paul de Souza, who first encouraged Dodson to write the book, is also producing.
Gunwalking, which later became known as the Fast and Furious scandal, was a strategy used by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms where the agency allowed the illegal sale of guns in Arizona with the hopes that the guns would cross the border into Mexico and lead to the arrests of members of the drug cartels.
That plan went off the rails when the guns sold began finding their way into local and border crimes. The tactic went public after a border patrol agent was killed by one of the firearms.
Dodson was an ATF agent who decided to come forward with the story, and ended up going from the field to Congress all the while fighting for the integrity of his honor and name.
The scandal was a black eye on the Obama administration and Attorney General Eric Holder ended up being held in contempt by Congress.
Carnahan worked with di Bonaventura on Lionsgate’s Deepwater Horizon, the Mark Wahlberg drama that recently wrapped production. The scribe, whose credits include World War Z, just adapted the Jo Nesbo novel The Snowman for an adaptation that will star Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson.
Bratman, who was an exec producer on 2011’s Fright Night remake, is developing Hendrix at Legendary with Paul Greengrass and Scott Silver, and The Black Count with Cary Fukunaga and John Legend.
CAA represented Dodson in conjunction with Trident Media Group. Carnahan is repped by CAA.
Lionsgate declined to comment.
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