William Monahan, best known for his Oscar-winning script for 2006’s The Departed, is working with Paramount Pictures to obtain the movie rights for a 2012 New Yorker article about teenagers acting as confidential drug informants. The concept of “kid snitches” is certainly a fun one, conjuring images of tough-talking bullies, listening devices constructed from tin cans on a string, and also that Departed-parodying episode of The Simpsons that was exactly about that.

It’s a lighthearted, amusing premise, right up until the moment when you actually read “The Throwaways,” the Sarah Stillman-penned article Monahan wants to adapt. And then you discover it’s about untrained teenagers and college students being coerced into dangerous, often-fatal situations by cops waging the war on drugs—and not, like, kid cops foiling playground feuds as part of a 21 Jump Street prequel. But hey, all of those grieving parents and indifferent police departments will probably feel a lot more fun and lively once they get some Celtic folk rock pumping under them, right?

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