Old colleagues in arms Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer are working together on a new show for TNT. The cable channel has ordered the pilot for a show that will explore the heady and dangerous days of the 1970s cocaine trade in Florida. The show has been developing for a while, but TNT has finally given the pilot the green light to the Michael Bay cocaine show. (Which sounds like a variety show I would watch so hard.) Read More »
In 2006, Billy Corben‘s documentary Cocaine Cowboys, about the rise of the drug trade in ’70s and ’80s Miami, became the jumping-off point for more than one project. By 2008 HBO had commissioned a pilot script for a series based on the documentary, and for several years a feature film has been in slow development also based on the doc.
We just heard that David O. Russell is attached to direct the feature version. And now, after being dormant for some time, the HBO series is coming back to life with a new pilot script from The Pacific writer Michelle Ashford. Read More »
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In this day and age, it’s difficult for men to agree on much of anything, but we all feel that the Miami Hurricanes are the greatest college football team of all time. Yeah? A new feature-length doc entitled The U about the University of Miami’s equal parts legendary and notorious football program more than upholds this notion. As the latest entry in ESPN‘s 30 for 30 showcase, The U joins other sports documentaries made by reputable and well known filmmakers the likes of Peter Berg, Barry Levinson and forthcoming ones by Morgan Freeman and Jeff Tremaine of Jackass.
After the jump is a choice clip from The U and an interview with its producer, Alfred Spellman, who has made a name for himself alongside pal and U director, Billy Corben, with their Miami-based production company rakontur. Spellman discusses his doc, and the team itself within a historical and cultural context. He also updates on other projects including rakontur’s Cocaine Cowboys franchise, which is soon to be a major HBO series from Michael Bay.
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Earlier this month, we reported on the possibility of a new HBO show based on 2006’s engrossing hit documentary, Cocaine Cowboys, from uber players Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer. Today, Slashfilm gives you an exclusive review of the script for Cocaine Cowboys‘ pilot episode written by Billy Corben and David Cypkin of Rakontur, the Miami-based production company behind the doc and its sequel (set for release this July). For legal reasons, we’ve omitted specific plot details in the review.
Being familiar with Rakontur’s M.O. and work from my time on Miami Beach, I had previously tagged their HBO show pitch as “the antithesis of Miami Vice.” So, it was no surprise to see the opening credits in the script described as such. Verbatim. But while the show’s oddly subdued credits might fit this “antithesis” (old farts playing shuffleboard, an idyllic underdeveloped Miami Beach circa ’79) , the pilot is not as leery of Don Johnson’s white blazers and Michael Mann’s kooky multiculti derelicts and crabs as I surmised. Recall that the first season of Miami Vice didn’t drip with Art Deco camp under Mann’s watch: the action exuded unprecedented cinematic flash and all of Miami was game, not just Miami Beach beauty. New York City figured into Vice‘s early storyline, as it does here. Everything in Cocaine Cowboys is similarly bigger-than-life but far seedier.
Cowboys‘ opening scenes–a hasty drug deal at sea set aboard a 150-foot vessel that’s quietly sinking under the careless supervision of incredibly stoned, hard partying Rasta thugs–conjures the same crotch-grabbing gusto and hyper-imagery on display in Mr. Bay’s Bad Boys II. The similarity is blatant, even. We’re talking requisite Miami bimbos jumping off a nearby sailboat after its comically set ablaze by a flare fired by an addled rudeboy named Chicken. Think swooping Bay-mentored aerial views of hot-boobs-overboard. Will HBO execs desire this sort of acronym? After reading the script a few times, I’d bet that the sought-after demographics would get sucked in quickly…and cocaine use would probably get a nice boost nationwide. Note: nothing in the script came off like Billy Walsh’s Medellin— thankfully–but Billy Walsh would definitely set his DVR.
Continue reading the script review of the Cocaine Cowboys pilot for HBO after the jump…
Discuss: Would you like to see a new HBO show from Bay, Bruckheimer and Rakontur about the ’80s cocaine trade and culture in Miami, Florida?
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I just got off the phone with cool Miami-based film producer, Alfred Spellman, in an attempt to get some concrete information about Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay adapting his and director Billy Corben‘s acclaimed ’06 documentary, Cocaine Cowboys, into a new dramatic series for HBO and Warner Bros. You see, last night Variety published a very loose news item announcing that such an A-list project could be in the works with said talent. Spellman didn’t reveal much, but I did get him to admit he was siked. Go me. As he should be. His company, Rakontur, has Cocaine Cowboys 2: Hustlin’ with the Godmother due in June from Magnolia, and, as we previously reported, a feature film adaptation of CC is in the works from director Peter Berg with Mark Wahlberg set to star (and Leonardo DiCaprio involved in some capacity).
The mind races thinking about Bay and Bruckheimer being hands on with an ’80s period, Vice City-set HBO series filled with drugs, hot (hot, and hot) cars, South Beach trim, Escobar offspring, and gunplay. Alongside Showtime’s Weeds and AMC’s Breaking Bad, this series would complete TV’s drug diet. Variety reports that no writer is currently attached, but adds that Bay and Bruckheimer have been circling the project for quite a while. More on this if and when it develops…
Discuss: Does this sound like the bread winner HBO is currently missing? Does a gritty antithesis/’00s bookend to Miami Vice sound appealing?