Jose Padilha will direct “Marching Powder,” a drama that Don Cheadle has long wanted to star in and produce.

Pic is based on “Marching Powder: A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine and South America’s Strangest Jail,” a memoir Thomas McFadden wrote with Rusty Young.

Cheadle is producing through his Crescendo Prods., with Plan B’s Brad Pitt, Periscope Entertainment’s David Guy Levy and Benjamin Goldhirsh of Good Worldwide.

Levy’s Periscope is financing development.

Cheadle intends to play McFadden, a British drug trafficker who was arrested in Bolivia and jailed in La Paz’s San Pedro prison. During his six-year stretch, McFadden served as a tour guide in a prison that thrived under a capitalist system made possible by bribery of officials.

The Brazil-born Padilha won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Festival this year for “Elite Squad” and previously garnered acclaim for his documentary “Bus 174.”

He was recently attached to direct “A Willing Patriot” for Warner Bros., Hollywood Gang and Management 360. That pic will concern an American federal agent who goes undercover in South America’s dangerous tri-border area to dismantle a terrorism funding network.