Legendary screenwriter and playwright David Mamet is the likely choice to adapt Don Winslow’s new novel The Force for the big screen. The acclaimed new book, which Stephen King called “The Godfather with cops,” isn’t based on Star Wars but the NYPD, following a group of detectives led by the tough-as-nails Denny Malone. One of the force’s top performers eventually becomes morally compromised and forced to decide whether to rat out other dirty cops in order to protect himself.
Logan’s James Mangold was tabbed to direct the adaptation of The Force back in March, shortly after the former premiered in theaters. Ridley Scott’s production company Scott Free is on board to produce the project. 20th Century Fox already has an accomplished director, strong production team, and source material that has drawn rave reviews. Now, it may have its scribe in veteran writer Mamet.
As reported by Deadline on Tuesday, Mangold has brought Mamet aboard to pen the script for The Force. The talks are “ongoing” at this point. It marks something of a triumphant return to the big screen for Mamet, who hasn’t written a feature-length movie since 2008’s Redbelt, which he also directed. Mamet’s writing style has become so distinctive as to be commonly referred to as “Mamet-speak.” He’s written many plays, but on the big screen his writing is perhaps best exemplified in 1992’s Glengarry Glen Ross, which Mamet adapted from his own 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
Deadline believes Mamet’s sharp, edgy style would be a great choice to adapt the “gritty cop banter” peppered throughout The Force. Mamet is also known for his Oscar-winning adaptations of Sidney Lumet’s 1982 movie The Verdict and Barry Levinson’s 1997 political satire Wag The Dog. He’s also no stranger to writing scripts for crime thrillers; he also wrote 1987’s The Untouchables, 1998’s Ronin, and 2001’s Heist.
There are few living writers in Hollywood who are more accomplished than Mamet. He’s one of the few screenwriters whose style is distinctively recognizable. He has plenty of experience in the crime genre and certainly the chops to translate The Force’s dialogue to the big screen as well as anybody. With him adapting an already acclaimed novel and Mangold directing, the project is off to a great start.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that all of The Force’s impressive parts will fit together well. Great source material, a hot director, and an iconic writer make a great foundation, but the success of The Force will come down to execution. There’s also an entire cast of actors to fill out. But with the talent already assembled, The Force boasts big-time potential as a big-screen adaptation.
The Force remains in pre-production and has no release date. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as more news comes out.