Every now and then Hollywood gets into a race to see who can adapt a subject in the quickest and/or the best manner possible. We've seen it with asteroids, animated insects, and more recently the life and times of Steve Jobs. Another race that's been run on a more quiet level is the story of the Medellin Cartel – a drug smuggling operation that supplied up to 80% of the world's supply of cocaine between 1976 and 1993. While we've seen two documentaries on the subject of Pablo Escobar and his Cocaine Cowboys, a biopic has yet to materialize. All of that is about to change, as the life story of Escobar compatriot Max Mermelstein is picking up speed.
News broke through Variety that Antoine Fuqua and Jake Gyllenhaal are re-teaming after their work on Southpaw to make The Man Who Made It Snow - a film adapted from the Mermelstein memoir of the same name. The film will presumably focus on Max Mermelstein's transformation from underground smuggler of Colombian citizens into a full blown Cocaine smuggler, which eventually ended with his arrest and testimony against the Medellin Cartel.
For those of you keeping track, this is the third project to float the Hollywood waterways involving the Escobar drug trade. In September, Michael Bay announced he was adapting the story for a somewhat fictionalized TV version of the original Cocaine Cowboys documentary; while Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg have been looking to put their stamp on the same subject matter for a couple of years now. With Antoine Fuqua and Jake Gyllenhaal both on the receiving end of some solid blockbuster buzz at the moment, this project looks like it's jumped from a dark horse into a front runner.
Gyllenhaal in particular could make a huge splash with The Man Who Made It Snow, as his performance in Nightcrawler could bring him to an Academy Award nomination during this year's awards season. Even if he doesn't win this round, this could set the project off on the fast track to production, thus possibly saving a seat at the table in 2016 for not only Jake Gyllenhaal, but also for Antoine Fuqua – who's brought Denzel Washington to not only a Best Actor nomination, but also a win for Training Day in 2002.
With Jake Gyllenhaal and Antoine Fuqua ready to team up again, it looks like we might have another director/actor pairing that could see an extended period of fruitful partnership in creativity. The reactions to Southpaw when it premieres next year will be our first indication of whether or not this project will finally make its way to the big screen. For now though, The Man Who Made It Snow has no current plans for production. However, but as soon as we hear any updates, we'll bring them to you here.
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Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.