EXCLUSIVE: A feature about legendary Hollywood director Sam Peckinpah’s wild plan to finance his final film with backing from Colombia’s Cali Cartel is being sold in Cannes.
Avatar Entertainment is handling sales for If They Move… ‘Kill Em, with Colombian director Carlos Moreno — known for Netflix film Dogwashers, upcoming series Goles en Contra and Sundance titles Dog Eat Dog, The Snitch Cartel and Live Forever — also attached. Kel Symons is the writer.
The script tells the story of legendary 1960s and 1970s director Peckinpah, who after burning all bridges in Hollywood decided to finance his final film through the only people willing to invest in him: the Colombian drug cartel in Cali, Colombia. After he and the cartel have ‘creative differences,’ Peckinpah and his associate are kidnapped and held in the Amazon jungle. He then escapes captivity and has to find his way through the dangerous jungle, evade armed fighters searching for him, and find his way back to the U.S.
“When I read the script to If They Move… Kill ‘Em I was stunned by how compelling the story of Sam Peckinpah’s adventure to Colombia was,” said Moreno. “Being a huge fan of Peckinpah I could not believe the script was based on a true story.
“The writer, Kel Symons, does an excellent job describing Peckinpah’s desperate circumstances, while simultaneously conveying the humor and insanity of this story. It is extraordinarily well written.”
LA- and London-based Avatar’s Larry Robinson is producing, along with former MTV Films head David Gale. They have not yet set a lead, but are “currently going out to a major 60-ish male star to play Peckinpah.”
Moreno is managed by Avatar Entertainment. Robinson is represented by UTA.
Peckinpah — known for films such as The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs and The Getaway — died in 1984.