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The Bear Creator Christopher Storer to Direct Crime Movie The Winter of Frankie Machine for Paramount

Fresh off record Hulu ratings for Season 2 of The Bear, the show’s creator, Christopher Storer, has signed on to direct the crime movie The Winter of Frankie Machine for Paramount Pictures.

The film is based on Don Winslow‘s 2006 novel of the same name, which was adapted many years ago by Billions co-creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien. Martin Scorsese was initially slated to direct their script with Robert De Niro starring, but the two Oscar winners eventually pivoted to The Irishman after screenwriter Eric Roth gave De Niro the book I Heard You Paint Houses to help him prepare for Frankie Machine.

Storer will use Koppelman and Levien’s draft, though I imagine he’ll put his own touch on things before all is said and done — that’s just the nature of the biz.

The Winter of Frankie Machine follows Frankie Machiani, a hitman for a San Diego mob family who comes out of retirement to oversee a meeting between Detroit and L.A. crime families, though he quickly realizes it’s all a set-up to have him killed — though he’s not sure by who, forcing him to dodge a rogues gallery of criminals while figuring out who he can trust.

Winslow’s literary manager, Shane Salerno, will produce for The Story Factory, and Deadline reports that numerous directors had approached Winslow and Salerno over the years, though they shot down all overtures before sparking to Storer’s take. It helped that they were fans of Season 1 of The Bear — which is about to be showered with a litany of Emmy nominations — and that Storer was a fan of both the original novel and the Koppelman/Levien script.

Michael Mann and William Friedkin also circled the project at various points since the novel’s initial publication. And while both surely would’ve done Winslow’s novel justice, Storer strikes me as an inspired choice, and he’s as hot as any TV creator working right now.

Storer’s deal to direct was made prior to the WGA strike. He’s represented by WME and Kaplan/Perrone, while Winslow is repped by CAA and The Story Factory. WME also reps Koppelman and Levien.

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