Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer is working on a movie about an 87-year-old lily grower who smuggled more than a metric ton of cocaine across the United States-Mexico border. Fleischer, working with Imperative Entertainment, has acquired the rights to Sam Dolnick’s New York Times Magazine article “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule,” which tells the tale of Leo Sharp, horticulturist turned stunningly successful drug transporter.
Sharp, a World War II veteran and legend in the close-knit field of daylily hybridization, was arrested in 2011 with more than a hundred kilograms of cocaine in his truck. The arrest marked the last of several smuggling runs Sharp performed for cartels, funneling money and drugs between Detroit and Mexico. Earlier this year, the now-90-year-old Sharp received a three-year prison sentence for his actions, which the nonegenarian referred to as “a death sentence.”
Fleischer’s most recent film was 2013’s Gangster Squad, a gritty action film featuring bloody battles between cops and mobsters. Before that, he made the “idiotic criminals” comedy 30 Minutes Or Less. It’s not clear yet which tone he’ll employ for Sharp’s tale, considering its mixture of million-dollar drug deals with an unlikely criminal protagonist. “Light-hearted post-apocalyptic romp” seems unlikely, though, given the material—and the fact that Zombieland 2 is still in the works—even if we would kind of like to see a 90-year-old, drug-smuggling lily grower team up with the DEA agent who brought him down in a cross-country, undead-slaying sojourn.