Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In an intriguing pairing of two top crime novelists, a script is in the works by Don Winslow, author of novels that include Savages and The Winter Of Frankie Machine, and Chuck Hogan, whose Prince Of Thieves was turned into the Ben Affleck-directed The Town. The untitled script is a contemporary crime thriller, of course, and it will be produced by Shane Salerno. The plot revolves around two men who inevitably collide, amidst a host of supporting characters. Winslow and Hogan will each focus on one of the characters and meld the plot into a script that Salerno will bring to studios once it is completed.

Savages Universal MovieThe deal comes at a time both authors are breaking out. Universal shifted the Oliver Stone-directed adaptation of Winslow’s Savages from a fall to July 6 slot, with a cast that includes Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta and Salma Hayek. That script was written by Salerno & Winslow & Stone. Salerno & Winslow are currently adapting Winslow’s period spy thriller Satori for Warner Bros, with Leonardo DiCaprio starring and John Lesher and Jennifer Davisson Killoran producing and Salerno executive producing. Winslow has also written a Savages prequel novel, The Kings Of Cool, which Simon & Schuster will release June 19. Several of Winslow’s other books are in play as movie properties.

Hogan has written for GK Films an untitled script that focuses on Boston’s notorious Winter Hill Gang and John Martorano, chief enforcer for James “Whitey” Bulger who became the government’s main witness. GK acquired his rights after Martorano was released following a 14-year prison stretch for a series of murders. It was during those legal proceedings that a corrupt relationship between Bulger and the FBI’s Boston office was exposed. The script is out to directors. Hogan also teamed with Guillermo del Toro on the trilogy of vampire novels that began with The Strain. The final installment, The Night Eternal, was published last fall and a film or TV deal is inevitable once del Toro completes work on Pacific Rim. Hogan is currently adapting his crime thriller Devils In Exile for Marc Shmuger’s Global Produce. The project, renamed Sugar Bandits, focuses on a group of Iraq War veterans who take on Boston’s drug trade. It goes to buyers in June.

The authors were put together by Salerno. They began trading ideas from Hogan’s home base in Boston and Winslow’s San Diego haunt, and hit on an idea both liked. It is unclear whether they will turn the script into a novel, but I would sure read it if they do.

“While they will co-write the project together, one interesting aspect of this is that they will challenge each other on the page just as their characters face off against each other on the streets,” Salerno said.

Winslow called him self a fan of Hogan — “He is a tremendous writer with unique storytelling gifts” — and Hogan said of Winslow, “I respond to authenticity and originality, and I’ve been a fan of Don Winslow’s ever since The Power Of The Dog.” Hogan’s repped by UTA, 3 Arts’ Richard Abate and Alan Hergott, while Winslow’s deal was made by CAA and The Story Factory.

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