Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have acquired screen rights to “Jihadists in Paradise,” a Mark Bowden article published in the March issue of Atlantic Monthly.
Bowden is set to write the screenplay.
Deal puts Bruckheimer back in business with Bowden. Bruckheimer produced the Ridley Scott-directed drama “Black Hawk Down,” which Ken Nolan adapted from Bowden’s book.
“Jihadists in Paradise” details the emergence in the Philippines of the Islamic terrorist faction Abu Sayyaf and one of its leaders, Aldam Tilao. Tilao put his group on the map by sneaking by boat into a diving resort and taking 20 hostages, including three Americans. He and his armed thugs beheaded one of the Americans and dragged the other two — a missionary couple — across the jungles for a year and a half. Tilao was eventually tracked down and killed after a long search by the CIA and Filipino military forces. While Bowden’s books and articles are being developed into such films as the Scott Rudin-produced “Guests of the Ayatollah” and the Bob Yari-produced “Killing Pablo,” the “Jihadist” script will be just his second.
He is also penning a drama for Imagine and Paramount based on the subject of “extraordinary rendition,” the controversial practice of catching terrorist suspects, and, without trial, sending them to other countries to be interrogated or incarcerated.
Bowden’s repped by ICM.