Chiwetel Ejiofor set for drug dealer role

  • Published
Chiwetel EjioforImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Chiwetel Ejiofor most recently featured in Half of a Yellow Sun with Thandie Newton

Chiwetel Ejiofor is to star in a film version of the book Marching Powder: A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South America's Strangest Jail.

The 12 Years A Slave actor will play real-life drug trafficker Thomas McFadden, in a story about his experiences in prison in Bolivia.

Ejiofor was a best actor nominee for 12 Years a Slave but lost out to Dallas Buyers Club star Matthew McConaughey.

He will be seen next in John Hillcoat's cop thriller Triple Nine.

Marching Powder was a 2004 book written by McFadden and Australian journalist Rusty Young.

It tells the story of how Young was backpacking in South America when he heard about McFadden, a convicted British drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia's notorious San Pedro prison in La Paz.

Young went to meet McFadden and joined one of his illegal tours - making a friend of McFadden in the process.

This led to Young's bribing prison guards in order to stay with McFadden for three months and record the inmate's extraordinary life and experiences.

One of the most notorious characteristics of the prison recounted in the book was that inmates were expected to buy their cells from corrupt agents.

It also depicted how a culture of deprivation and violence prevailed, especially for the poorest prisoners.

Don Cheadle was originally lined up to play McFadden in the movie, which was first conceived in 2008.

Ejiofor most recently featured in Half of a Yellow Sun with Thandie Newton. The film was based on the award-winning novel by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.