Director Michael Mann's Next Project Will Be About Hacker and Criminal Mastermind Paul Le Roux
Director Michael Mann (Heat, Last of the Mohicans) hasn't made a film since his 2015 cybercrime film Blackhat. It wasn't his best film, but for the most part, I'm a fan of most of the films that Mann has made in his career. It looks like the director has found his next project, and it will be based on the true story of criminal mastermind Paul Le Roux. Mann picked up the film and television rights to the book, so this project could either be adapted for film or TV.
The book was written by investigative reporter Elaine Shannon and it details the life and crimes of Le Roux, who was "the head of an array of ruthless transnational criminal enterprises. Linked to Iran, North Korea and terrorist groups, Le Roux has been described as one of the most dangerous transnational criminals of the 21st century."
La Roux was also a former computer programmer and a cartel crime boss and an informant to the DEA. According to Wikipedia, La Roux “created E4M, an open-source free Windows disk encryption software program, in 1999, and is a suspected creator of the open-source TrueCrypt, which is based on E4M’s code.” He is also said to have ordered the assassination of six people. Here is some additional information thanks to Deadline:
Shannon has spent four years immersed in Le Roux’s shadowy world to gather the story, which tells how Le Roux reorganized transnational hard drug production and distribution, the arms trade, military hi-tech, murder for hire, mercenary operations and more with 21st century modalities. It is also a chronicle of the manhunt for Le Roux across six continents by an elite team of investigators from the 960 Group, a secretive element within the agency’s Special Operations Division. He was captured and charged with multiple murders.
Le Roux emerged from the shadows last week to detail the breadth of his criminal exploits when he testified for the prosecution in Manhattan Federal District Court in the murder trials of Joseph Hunter — a former US Army sniper and instructor turned assassin for Le Roux — and two other alleged gunmen, Adam Samia and Carl David Stillwell. They were charged with the 2012 gunshot murder of Filipino real estate agent Catherine Lee, whom Le Roux said he had killed because he believed she had stolen from him.
Mann has been so fascinated with this story that he has been following Le Roux and the manhunt while Shannon researched and wrote the book. According to the report, he even attended the recent court hearings in New York. He's obviously very into this story, and is passionate about adapting it into a film or TV series. When talking about it, Mann said:
"Elaine Shannon’s book took me into the actual people and places, the language and attitudes as powerfully as great fiction. Deeply and vividly, it illuminates the mind of LeRoux and the dark frontier of transnational crime."
This is a perfect story for Mann to develop. It sounds like something that would work a lot better as a TV series than a film since there is so much content to work with. It sounds like such a huge story. It will be interesting to see what he decides to do with it.