Brazilian director Jose Padilha has become quite the hot property off the back of his Elite Squad films. Now, not only is he on board to get the RoboCop remake back on its feet and one of the filmmakers being considered to take on the Wolverine sequel by Fox, but he’s also got the clout to start developing political action thriller Tri-Border.
Padilha is teaming up with Gran Torino writer Nick Schenk for the film, which follows a US Drug Enforcement Agency officer who busts the son of a US senator during a raid and is sent packing to Paraguay by the vengeful politician. While he’s there, he’ll have to survive the infamously lawless zone formed between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay while he tracks down a leading narcotics dealer in the hopes it’ll secure him a chance to go home.
“The idea is to have a political film hidden inside an action film, a film that can entertain and teach people about the tri-border and the international crime in general,” Padilha tells the Heat Vision Blog. He’s in the region now conducting research. “It’s a different reality, in a totally different environment: the frontier of three countries, in which one finds many different players operating, ranging from Italian, Chinese and Serbian mafias, to Bolivian, Colombian and Brazilian drug dealers, including Lebanese smugglers suspected of helping Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as corrupted police and politicians from Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.” Padilha’s plan is to have a script cranked out by August.
If the area sounds familiar, it’s because Kathryn Bigelow and Hurt Locker collaborator Mark Boal have been developing their own film set there – Triple Frontier. But while Bigelow and co have snagged some interested big names, they’re concentrating for now on getting their Navy SEAL/Osama bin Laden film made first.