Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Getting Movie Treatment

Erik Prince-Blackwater-Getty-H 2019
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Michaël R. Roskam will direct.

Erik Prince, the former Navy SEAL who founded the private military contractor Blackwater, is getting the biopic treatment.

Imperative Entertainment, which produced the recent Clint Eastwood hit The Mule, is behind the feature project, titled Prince of War, setting Michaël R. Roskam to direct.

The script is based on Prince’s book, Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror and a 2009 Vanity Fair article by Adam Ciralsky titled "Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy." Stuart Beattie, who wrote the Michael Mann-directed Tom Cruise movie Collateral and helped launch the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, wrote an initial draft and will now work with Roskam on a new script.

Imperative has made two dramatic movies based on true stories, The Mule and All the Money in the World. This one is intended to be no different, offering an unflinching look at the man who launched a special ops company that was awarded billions of dollars in government contracts and was involved in increasing the privatization of war while having his men in missions in locales ranging from Africa to Afghanistan. The company, already controversial in some quarters, became highly scrutinized when Blackwater workers killed 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007. Prince resigned in 2009, and the company was sold to investors in 2010.

Imperative is calling the project a “deep dive into the industry of modern warfare [which] reflects on the dark convergence of capitalism and patriotism.” It will focus on Prince as he tries to weather a grand jury investigation, clandestine CIA assassination missions and the voluntary manslaughter trial of five ex-employees. 

Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas and Ryan Friedkin will produce from Imperative. Nicolas Chartier from Voltage Pictures and Craig Flores from Bread and Circuses Entertainment will also produce. Ciralsky will executive produce via his P3 Media banner.

30West will arrange the financing and distribution for the project.

Roskam is a Belgian filmmaker who may be best known for helming the gritty crime drama The Drop, which starred Tom Hardy and the late James Gandolfini in one of this last roles. He also directed episodes of Epix’s spy drama Berlin Station.

Roskam is repped by UTA, Anonymous Content and Jackoway Tyerman.