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Howard to direct drug drama Mena

Ron Howard could be directing Mena: Photo © Howard to direct drug drama Mena Photo

Ron Howard is set to direct crime drama Mena.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker is said to be attached to take the reins on the fact-based tale about drugs trafficker Barry Seal.

Gary Spinelli's speculative script has been bought by Universal Pictures for a reported one million US dollars, according to Deadline.

Mena is based on the real-life events of the pilot-turned-gun runner and trafficker, who transported contraband for the CIA and the Medellin cartel in the 80s until he was killed.

The title refers to Mena, Arkansas, where a lot of the illegal activity took place, under the noses of US Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H W Bush and then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.

Ron, who made acclaimed motor drama Rush and has been filming nautical drama In The Heart Of The Sea, is expected to direct the film version of Dan Brown's Inferno, with Tom Hanks reprising his role as symbology professor Robert Langdon, before he starts work on Mena.

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