Former DreamWorks chiefs to produce drug-smuggling drama ‘See No Evil’

04.14.14 4 years ago

DreamWorks Studios

The husband-and-wife producer team of Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald have a pretty interesting résumé, as these things go: their credits range from blockbusters like “Men in Black” to specialty passion projects like Guillermo Arriaga's “The Burning Plain.”

In their 12-year tenure as founding presidents of DreamWorks, they shepherded the likes of “Gladiator,” “Minority Report” and “Sweeney Todd”; more recently, away from the studio, they collaborated with Paramount on the Denzel Washington vehicle “Flight.” (Parkes, meanwhile, has been Oscar-nominated for producing “Awakenings” and the documentary “The California Reich,” as well as for writing “WarGames.”) So while they produce their share of filler too (take your time, “Men in Black 4”), when they team up on something more interesting-sounding, the results are often notable.  

In this case, the project is “See You Evil,” a drama to be adapted by screenwriter Kurt Wimmer (“Salt,” “The Thomas Crown Affair”) from an article by Brendan I. Koerner that appeared in Wired magazine last year. (Accordingly, the film is being jointly produced by Parkes/MacDonald Productions and Condé Nast Entertainment.) 

The film will fictionalize the story of Alfred Anaya, a car-stereo business owner who was arrested by the DEA for conspiracy in a drug operation — thanks to his side trade in designing secret “traps” in cars used for stashing illegal goods, and his refusal to turn informant out of concern his family's safety. 

Parkes explains why the material intrigued him: “Koerner”s masterfully written account of Anaya”s technical genius and subsequent clash with the DEA jumps off the page … [it's a] remarkable story of car hacking, drug smuggling, and what happens when you go toe-to-toe with the American Justice System.” Wimmer, meanwhile, describes it as a study of “how what might normally be considered crippling personal pathologies and neurosis can sometimes manifest themselves in surprising and constructive ways.”

No director or stars are attached yet; hard to tell as this point if the project is leaning more genre or drama, but it's a promising pitch.

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