David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have signed a deal with Fox to write, direct and produce an adaptation of Stephen Hunter’s novel Dirty White Boys, which follows three violent escaped convicts and the lawman who attempts to track them down.
“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,” David told Deadline. “Our friend Scott Frank brought up the opening line of Dirty White Boys. To be honest, I’d never heard 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 bought the book, and then we got past that first line and just fell in love with it.” Dan added: “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.”
On the controversial characters in Dirty White Boys David said “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.”
Dan and Dave will be busy with at least another three seasons of Game of Thrones, with Seasons 5 and 6 confirmed this week.
“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,” Dan said. “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.”