Will Staples, who was hired in May to write Mission: Impossible 5 for Paramount, has been brought on by Warner Bros. to write their Untitled Animal Trafficking Project, which has Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Tom Hardy attached to produce.
We first reported on the project back in August 2012, when it was announced that the actors will all produce and possibly star in this drama, which has been compared in scope to Traffic. The story will dissect the animal trafficking industry where animals are killed for body parts used in several different illicit trades, which bring a hefty price on the black market in China. The plot is set all over the world, spanning from shark poaching in the ocean to big game in exotic jungles, with characters such as corporate executives, a lowly poacher, and several others all involved in the trade.
Leonardo DiCaprio is producing through his Appian Way company, alongside Tobey Maguire's Material Pictures and Tom Hardy's Executive Options. Warner Bros. is also developing a separate poaching project, which Tom Hardy is attached to star in, with Sheldon Turner writing the screenplay based on the actor's original idea. Tom Hardy will play a Special Forces operative who helps train rangers to stop animal poachers.
Will Staples started his career as a video game writer, working on games such as Need for Speed and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 before transitioning into screenwriting. He made The Black List with his spec script King of Hearts, which has Jeremy Renner attached to star in, along with Myth for 20th Century Fox and an untitled action project for Ben Affleck to star in and direct.