Best-seller by Smithfield, Virginia-based author Ron Peterson, Jr. currently in development as documentary series.
LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, February 22, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Los Angeles-based Urban Legends Film Company has acquired the rights to “Chasing The Squirrel,” the best-selling true crime book by author Ron Peterson, Jr. The book is currently in development as a multi-episode documentary series with placement targeted on a streaming service or cable network.
“Chasing The Squirrel” (2020) is the true story of Virginia drug smuggling pilot Wally Thrasher, a saga the Washington Post likened to “a James Bond thriller.” Thrasher was a charismatic blue-eyed daredevil nicknamed “Squirrel” for his elusiveness. In the ’70s and ’80s, he made millions flying marijuana and cocaine from Colombia, Mexico, and the Caribbean into Florida and Virginia. In 1984, with federal authorities hot on his tail, Thrasher allegedly died in a fiery plane crash in Belize, his body reportedly burnt to ashes. His beautiful wife Olga then became an informant, assisting the DEA in an audacious undercover operation that resulted in the largest drug bust in Mid-Atlantic US history in 1986, when over $150 million in drugs and cash were seized. Thirteen international traffickers were brought to justice, including Bolivian drug lord Roberto Suarez-Gomez, the world’s “King of Cocaine.” The Feds then turned their focus back to finding Wally Thrasher, who US Marshals believe actually staged the supposedly fatal plane crash in Belize, faked his own death, and may still be living the good life on a faraway tropical beach.
“I’m very excited to bring ‘Chasing The Squirrel’ to the screen,” said Urban Legends Film Company’s founder/creative director Doug Tower, who has developed award-winning content for Fox, Discovery, TLC, TNT, TBS, and Travel. “It’s one of the most incredible true crime stories I’ve ever read.”
Tower is a three-decade entertainment industry veteran whose background includes coordinating scenes on blockbuster films like Waterworld, San Andrea’s, American Assassin, Jumanji and The Commuter, and television production work on the World Series, Daytona 500, NBA Finals, and American Idol. He has directed A-list talent including Charlize Theron, Dwayne Johnson, Renee Zellweger, Issa Rae, Mike Trout and Kobe Bryant. Tower’s accolades include two local Emmys, a Clio, and ten Broadcast and Design awards.
Working title for the documentary series is “Where’s Wally?” Also attached to the project are Urban Legends Film Company’s highly-regarded producer Meghann Coleman and Director of Photography Jeff Dolen, who was cinematographer for HBO’s, “McMillions,” which was nominated for a Primetime Emmy in six categories.
Author Ron Peterson, Jr., based in Smithfield, Virginia, is Executive Producer on the project, which will feature on-camera interviews with many of his sources for the book; including Thrasher’s wife and son, his old drug smuggling associates, and the law enforcement authorities who pursued him. Advance film work is underway in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia; including extensive on-interviews with retired DEA agent Don Lincoln and former US Marshal Wayne Pike, both of whom have shared new information on their hunt for “The Squirrel.”
“I’m thrilled to work with Doug Tower and his team on the project,” said Peterson. “Doug is an extraordinary storyteller and his vision for the book-to-film adaptation is phenomenal.”
Peterson’s previous work includes the best-selling 2018 book “Under The Trestle” – selected by Popsugar as one of the top 100 true crime books of all time — which is also optioned as a film project; currently in development with Mactavish Pictures. Peterson’s next book, the highly-anticipated “Eyes Of a Monster” is slated for a mid-2021 release.
For more information:
Contact Ron Peterson, Jr’s publicist via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Doug Tower via email: email@example.com