‘Outlaws Inc’ film gets one of Hollywood’s hottest directors

 

Disney/Act of Valor helmer Scott Waugh has signed up to direct the Hollywood feature film of my first international book, Outlaws Inc.

 

Hollywood and disney director Scott Waugh is working on Matt Potter's film Outlaws Inc

 

Incredibly exciting news in Deadline magazine, as it’s been announced that the director of last year’s sleeper Navy SEAL hit Act of Valor, Scott Waugh, is to direct. The team at Thunder Road Pictures behind the Outlaws Inc. film has also announced that the film is also fully financed by Fundamental Films. Basil Iwonyk and Mark Gao are to produce.

 

Scott Waugh is one of Hollywood’s hottest, with Disney’s Need For Speed and Act Of Valor both doing the business. There are a few more developments, including some very exciting news on casting for Outlaws Inc., but I’m sworn to secrecy for the time being.

 

Watch this space…

WEEKEND FREEBIE: Stream a sample of the new Outlaws Inc. audiobook

 

Thanks to the lovely people at Audible.com in the States, you can stream an extract of the new Outlaws Inc. audiobook here, for a limited period.

 

The book is read – which, I suppose means I’m played – by Jeff Kafer, a Seattle-born voice actor and veteran narrator and voiceover artist. And he does a really great job with my mad sentences. I almost forgot it wasn’t me speaking with that West Coast drawl. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Stream by clicking the green ‘Play’ button here.

 

News: Film deal for Outlaws Inc.

 

Well, it’s happened. An 18-month film option on Outlaws Inc has been bought by a major Hollywood production company, Thunder Road Pictures. Thunder Road are the outfit behind big noises like The Expendables, Clash of the Titans (above) and Ben Affleck’s The Town, as well as the new Jeff Bridges/Julianne Moore blockbuster Seventh Son. Boss Basil Iwanyk is apparently Hollywood’s most bankable producer. So, er, blimey.

 

As things progress, I’ll be working on the project as Consultant Scriptwriter. So it’s all pretty exciting. And it’s thanks in large part to my agent, Humfrey Hunter, and film/TV rights agent, Rebecca Watson at Valerie Hoskins Associates. (See, I’m doing the Oscar Speech Thing already.) Rebecca is the lady who represents Fifty Shades Of Grey, so the studios seemed to take her calls for some reason.

 

Now, where will we get all the Russian planes for the movie, cheap? Oh hang on, I know just the people

 

New audiobook edition out now

Audible have just issued a new, unabridged audiobook of Outlaws Inc. It’s narrated by Seattle actor and voice artist Jeff Kafer, and while it’s potentially a little weird to have my voice suddenly become that of a West Coast American, let’s face it, it’s probably for the best. You know, all due apologies to Slough, Bucks and all that.

News: Reader’s Digest publishes ‘Outlaws Inc’ in 26 languages as its Autumn adventure read

International literary selection Reader’s Digest has published a condensed version of Outlaws Inc. in its Autumn edition… and brought its international detective story home.

 

The condensed extract is published in Norwegian, Swedish, Slovenian (a taster for the translation is here), Russian, French, Dutch, Hungarian, Finnish, Czech, Slovak, Polish, German, Italian, Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, and a host of other languages. In the New Year, it will see publication in Thai, Mandarin, Cantonese and other Far Eastern languages, as well as for parts of Africa.

 

The extracts come with some incredible, atmospheric new illustrations inspired by the action, supplied by Bryan Christie Design of New York – that’s one of Bryan’s illustrations at the head of this post, and more of his work is here.

 

It’s a big moment for me. While Outlaws Inc. has been translated into several languages as a full book, having it read by people in some of the countries central to its investigative trail through the secret world of international arms smuggling – from the Far East to Russia itself – is an honour. I guess I hope some of its findings hit home in the heartland of the operations I followed, as they have elsewhere. It’s undeniably thrilling, even a little strange, seeing the story printed in Cyrillic. I sort of feel like I need to wish it luck in there.

 

But it’s more personal than that too. My grandma was a lifetime subscriber to Reader’s Digest‘s condensed selection of books, and it loomed large throughout my childhood. She was its biggest fan. I remember cutting my reading teeth on some of the non-fiction adventure stories in the copies she always had at her house. Jaws was one extract I read, back when it was new. There was another called The Sea Shall Not Have Them, too. I don’t remember much about it, but I remember the story had the same kind of outer darkness that hung over Mickey and the pilots I tracked. that In a way, I think that more than my writing the book – and perhaps more than any good it has (or hasn’t) done in the battle against global weapons smuggling – I think this would have been the seal of approval that made her proud.

 

So thanks, Reader’s Digest. And thanks, Grandma.

 

 

News: A bit of Fry and Ronson… ‘Outlaws Inc.’ back up the WH Smith Bestseller chart

Short post this time, just to say thank you to everyone who helped to send Outlaws Inc. haring back up the bestseller chart. This was sent to me by motoring journo Will Dron, and I had to make sure he wasn’t messing with my head.

 

Nestled between Stephen Fry and Jon Ronson is somewhere I never even thought I’d end up (not to mention underneath Caitlin Moran). It feels great, if a bit like that dream you have where you’re at a party full of witty, hyper-intelligent people and you try and be as witty as them, but it all comes out garbled, then suddenly your trousers keep coming off, and the whole school is totally staring. No? Maybe that was just me then.

 

In any case, I stay true to my promise: Thank you for buying Outlaws Inc., and I hope you enjoy it. If I meet you, just identify yourself, and the drinks are on me.

 

News: Japanese Manga comic takes on ‘Outlaws Inc.’

 

This knocked me for six: news that Japanese magazine Courrier Japon has just adapted Outlaws Inc. to Manga comic strip form.

 

The adaptation published this month, is true to the book’s narrative and journalism – but supercharges it with some fantastic graphic novel-style visual storytelling. I love the portrayal of Mickey. Though the real Mickey was more beat-looking than that, I hope he’d have approved. Here’s a sample page.

 

News: Outlaws Inc published in Finland this week

 

This week saw the publication of Salainen Lasti in Finland. The Finnish-language version of Outlaws Inc means ‘Secret Cargo’, and weighs in at 477 pages, including new material on the conviction in Manhattan of ‘Merchant of Death’ Viktor Bout, and a whole chapter drawn from the secret DEA tapes of his sting and arrest in Bangkok.

 

Translated by prizewinning Finnish poet and author Jyrki Kiiskinen, Salainen Lasti is the fourth foreign-language edition of the book, now published in more than 25 countries around the world.

Free-Market Mercenaries: Matt speaking at Swansea University on 28th February

Matt will be talking transnational crime, Russian gunrunners and the deadly compromises between narco-mafias, FTSE 100 businesses, terrorists, ‘big aid’ and our own government at Swansea University on 28th February.

The event, titled ‘Free market mercenaries: Cocaine traffickers, Somali pirates, and how the Soviet Union won the Cold War’ is organised by Swansea University’s Research Institute in association with the History Faculty, and will start at 5.30pm in Fulton House on the main campus.

The topic is one the recent conviction of Russian businessman Viktor ‘Merchant of Death’ Bout has brought to global attention. Across the world, a secretive network of lawless, untraceable ex-Red Army airmen function as the delivery channel for everything from Afghan heroin and illicit guns to pirate ransoms, UN aid and supermarket flowers. They are living testament to what happened when the Soviet army met Western outsourcing, free-market economics and foreign policy. Matt has flown and worked with these fugitive airmen, and his adventures and investigations are revealed in the book Outlaws Inc, published globally last year and reissued this year in a new, updated edition featuring extra material on Britain’s part in what UN investigators call the “shadow network of illicit arms transfers” and transcripts of the secret tapes from the CIA’s wire during their sting operation on Viktor Bout.

In his talk, will be asking what their industry means for our self-image as citizens of an enlightened, post-Soviet world. Matt is speaking at the invitation of Dr Kelly Hignett, Lecturer in the School of History and Classics at Swansea University, specialist in crime and deviancy in the former Eastern Bloc and author of ‘Transnational Organised Crime and the Global Village’. Dr Hignett is also the woman behind the highly regarded blog The View East.

For a free invitation to the event as Matt’s guest, or if you’d like Matt to speak at an event, just email matt [at] mattpotterbooks [dot] com, or tweet me @MattPotter.

 

Full press information, interview requests, serialization or review copies of the new, expanded edition of his acclaimed book Outlaws Inc., are available from Dusty Miller, Director of Publicity at Pan Macmillan in London. Email: D.Miller@macmillan.co.uk; Telephone: (+44) 20 7014 6188.

 

 

 

 

News: Outlaws Inc. published in a new edition… complete with secret CIA tapes

 

An updated, expanded edition of Outlaws Inc. is published in paperback by Pan Macmillan in March.

 

The new edition contains explosive new material – including full coverage of the recent high-profile trial of the infamous Merchant of Death in Manhattan, and never-before-published material from the CIA’s secret files on the infamous gunrunner, real name Viktor Bout. Also included are the secretly taped conversations that lead to his capture in Bangkok, and more revelations from the frontline of the arms trafficking pipeline to South America’s cocaine mafias.

 

 

If the new material is explosive, so is the new cover. It features a selection of the rave reviews for the book from the likes of the BBC’s John Sweeney (in the Literary Review), and Andy Ross of America Today, who compared the action to “James Bond meets Jason Bourne”.

 

Outlaws Inc. was published in its first edition in June 2010, and picked up acclaim from the Washington Post, BBC, Fox News and CNN, among others. Matt is currently writing the follow-up, to be published in 2013.