'Zombieland' Director Tackling Tale of the 87-Year Old Drug Mule

Ruben Fleischer - P 2014
Courtesy of UTA

Ruben Fleischer - P 2014

The project is based on a New York Times Magazine article whose rights were just picked up by Imperative Entertainment

Imperative Entertainment — the production banner run by Bradley Thomas, Dan Friedkin and Zak Kadison — is partnering with director Ruben Fleischer to adapt New York Times Magazine article "The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule."

The shingle has acquired the rights to the article, written by Sam Dolnick, with Fleischer attached to direct.

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Published in the June 15 issue, the story told of Leo Sharp, an award-winning horticulturist, renowned for his prized daylilies, who secretly worked for years as one of the most prolific drug couriers for the feared Mexico-based Sinaloa cartel. The catch? The man, who was 87 when he was arrested in 2011, was responsible for transporting hundreds upon hundreds of kilos of cocaine to Detroit-area dealers.

A search for a writer to adapt the material is currently underway.

Fleischer will produce along with The District Production’s David Bernad and Bungalow Media + Entertainment’s Todd Hoffman. Thomas, Friedkin and Kadison also are producing.

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Robert Friedman and Dennis Kim of Bungalow will executive produce. Imperative’s executive vp Justin Levy and vp content Jillian Apfelbaum will act as co-producers.

Apfelbaum was a key player in the project, having brought it into Imperative. She is a new hire after leading creative at New York-based production company Ars Nova. Her previous credits include acting as a co-producer on the Blaxploitation comedy Black Dynamite.

Fleischer, repped by UTA and Sloane Offer, is the director behind Zombieland and The Gangster Squad. He is now in development on a sequel to Zombieland.