Variety reports that Universal is developing a movie called “Kill the Messenger” based on the story of Merc reporter Gary Webb, whose 1996 three-part series “Dark Alliance” implied that the CIA was a catalyst for the crack cocaine scourge in California.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist died Dec. 9, 2004 after suffering two gunshot wounds. His death was ruled a suicide.

He was the target of a smear campaign after he linked the CIA to a scheme to arm Contra rebels in Nicaragua and import cocaine into California.

Universal has optioned two books for the screenplay: Webb’s “Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion” and Nick Schou’s “Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb.”

The film will posit that Webb was mostly right, and that the CIA sought to smear him to cover up a scandal, according to Variety.

“It’s the story of a reporter killed for telling the truth, and it’s poignant and relevant as the CIA and U.S. government continue to make nefarious deals with the devil for what they believe is the greater good,” screenplay writer Gary Landesman told Variety.

SF Press Club News


  1. Am still wondering how Webb managed to squeeze off the second bullet.

    Do you think Hollywood will give us the definitive answer?

    After all, that is the place (isn’t it?) where Americans look for “truth” after their news media fail them.

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