Anthony and Joe Russo, the maestro Marvel movie directors of Captain America: Civil War and the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, acquired the rights to The Mastermind, a true-crime series from the digital publication Atavist Magazine, back in April 2016. Their planned television adaptation, co-produced by Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment, just received an enormous boost. Indeed, not only has The Mastermind found itself a cable home on FX, but it will also carry the talent of the cable outlet’s prized visionary in Fargo and Legion writer Noah Hawley.
The Mastermind is a developing investigative TV series based on the magazine series of the same name, written by Atavist founder Evan Ratliff. According to Deadline, the series is officially set at FX. With Anthony and Joe Russo serving as directors and executive producers, the FX-tied visionary Noah Hawley will jump onboard as an executive producer by way of his 26 Keys company.
The Mastermind has been compared, thematically, to Netflix’s documentary series Making a Murderer, following the “elusive criminal kingpin” Paul Le Roux, described as, “a brilliant programmer and a vicious cartel boss, who became a prized U.S. government asset.” Le Roux has been compared to a James Bond villain. Ratliff is also working on a book about Le Roux. According to rumors, Random House won the publishing rights.
Skybound has produced AMC’s The Walking Dead, its Fear the Walking Dead spinoff and the Kirkman-comic-based horror drama Outcast, which is readying a second season on Cinemax. As Mike Larocca, President of Film and Television for the Russo Brothers’ Getaway Productions, said of The Mastermind in a statement:
“Evan is breaking the story of one of the most successful and notorious global criminal masterminds of the 21st century – covering his rise to power, getting busted by the DEA and then turning state’s witness as they piece together and dismantle his vast, disconnected global criminal empire. We were riveted by this true crime story, its societal implications and cinematic potential.”
Comedy directing duo Joe and Anthony Russo are best known for their work on the sitcoms Community and Arrested Development. However, they took a major genre plunge to direct Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Winter Solider and its follow-up Captain America: Civil War as well as the 2018-scheduled Avengers: Infinity War.
The Mastermind magazine episodes are available on the Atavist website.