The project is based on the 1995 novel of the same name, written by Stephen Hunter, whose novel Point of Impact was adapted into the 2007 feature Shooter, starring Mark Wahlberg. The story centers on three inmates lead by Lamar Pye, who escape from prison and soon thereafter are tracked by state trooper Bud Pertwee.
It isn't known when this will actually move forward into production, since the demands of writing and shooting Game of Thrones are so immense. David Benioff revealed that an informal chat with other writers such as Scott Frank is what piqued the pair's interest in the book.
"We're sitting around bullsh*tting and we started talking about lines we were jealous of before it came around to the familiar topic of greatest opening lines in novels. Our friend Scott Frank brought up the opening line of Dirty White Boys. To be honest, I'd never hear of the book before, even though we'd heard of Stephen Hunter's sniper series. Scott mentioned that opening line from Dirty White Boys, and it made me go out and buy the book, and Dan (Weiss) bought the book, and then we got past that first line and just fell in love with it."
D.B. Weiss also spoke about how that first line grabbed him.
"It does grab you, the first line, and what keeps you is that the characters are so well drawn, really charismatic and awful people, so flawed. I don't think you'll be able to print the first line, because it's got prison-soaked racism and is just really out there. I thought about this, and figured, what the hell. Hunter wrote it. I didn't. Here's the line: 'Three men at McAlester State Penitentiary had larger penises than Lamar Pye, but all were black and therefore, by Lamar's own figuring, hardly human at all.'"
"There is that parallel, but you have to fall in love with these characters. I'm a huge fan of Cormac McCarthy and the film adaptation, but that villain is the devil incarnate. Here, the villains do horrible things, but you feel for them. For Dan and I, we started writing Game of Thrones in 2006, and this book could not be more different, a contemporary thriller, but the characters are so well drawn that you become attached to them, good or bad, and you want to follow them."
"This really is a 52-week a year job, so it's not like we're out there actively looking. But after Scott recommended it, the book sinks its claws into you, and you're stuck. You have to let it take you where it's going to take you and we look forward to seeing where this one is going to take us."
Since Game of Thrones was recently renewed for two seasons earlier this week, it isn't known when the writers will get around to this story, since they are also expected to return for a seventh or eighth season. However, David Benioff compared the story to a great Western.
"Game of Thrones was too big a canvas for a movie, but Dirty White Boys is like a great old Western, there's so much compression and it's so pressurized, it demands to be told in one sitting. We've been able to work without stars, but here, there are two big star roles that are great. If we'd to compress the storytelling in Game Of Thrones, we'd have just mutilated the book."
When asked if they had started writing the script yet, D.B. Weiss joked that he is rewriting the first line. He also expressed his gratitude that their friend who introduced them to the book, Scott Frank, who is well known for his crime adaptations (Get Shorty, Out of Sight), is too busy to take on this project.
"While I was in Hawaii recently, I started working on the rewrite of the first line. No, the straight answer is, not yet. But its ours. You think about who's better at adapting a crime novel like this than Scott Frank. We are just so grateful that he is always so busy."
While this project will serve as both D.B. Weiss and David Benioff's directorial debuts, David Benioff has previously written the screenplays for The 25th Hour, based on his own novel, Troy, Stay, The Kite Runner, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Brothers.