Another Brazilian filmmaker leaves the favelas behind and moves to Hollywood: The Hollywood Reporter reports that acclaimed yet controversial writer-director José Padilha will make an action movie, appropriately set in South America, for Warner Bros. Hardly a stranger to the genre, Padilha recently picked up the top prize at the Berlin International Film Festival for his critically divisive Tropa de Elite (Elite Squad), a semi-fictional action thriller about police corruption in Rio de Janeiro. Our own Scott Weinberg, reviewing from Tribeca, called the film "powerfully gritty, slyly engrossing and unapologetically brutal." Prior to that film, Padilha made the brilliantly kinetic documentary Bus 174, which was one of my favorite releases of 2003.

The new project is currently without a name, but the original title was A Willing Patriot. Scripted by Jason Keller (who wrote the 2002 fX TV-movie Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie), the movie will be about an American federal agent who goes undercover in South America's "Triple Frontier" (the dangerous tri-border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay) to break up a terrorist-funding network. Producer Gianni Nunnari (The Departed, 300), who did the hiring of Padilha, apparently referred to the film's setting as "a modern-day Dodge City." The next step for Nunnari and fellow producers Darin Friedman and Guymon Casady (The Final Cut) is to cast a major Hollywood actor and a major Latino actor.

With the move to Hollywood, Padilha joins fellow Brazilian filmmakers Fernando Meirelles (City of God), whose second English-language feature, Blindness, just premiered at Cannes (read James' review), and Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries), who will soon take on his second Hollywood production, an adaptation of Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Salles' latest, a Brazilian production titled Linha de Passe, also just premiered at Cannes. Padilha's dynamic style, though, could make him the most commercially successful Brazilian import yet.
CATEGORIES Action, Cinematical