The Mule (2018 film)

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The Mule
The mule poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byClint Eastwood
Produced by
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Tim Moore
  • Kristina Rivera
  • Jessica Meier
  • Dan Friedkin
  • Bradley Thomas
Screenplay byNick Schenk
Based on"The Sinaloa Cartel's 90-Year-Old Drug Mule"
by Sam Dolnick
Music byArturo Sandoval
CinematographyYves Bélanger
Edited byJoel Cox
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • December 14, 2018 (2018-12-14) (United States)
CountryUnited States

The Mule is an upcoming American crime film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, who also plays the lead role. The screenplay is by Nick Schenk, based on The New York Times article "The Sinaloa Cartel's 90-Year-Old Drug Mule" by Sam Dolnick.

The film is based on the true story of Leo Sharp, a World War II veteran in his 80s who became a drug dealer and courier for the Sinaloa Cartel. It is Eastwood's first acting project since 2012's Trouble with the Curve, and his first starring role in a film directed by him since 2008's Gran Torino. The film also stars Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Peña, Dianne Wiest, and Andy García. Filming began on June 4, 2018 in Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia.

It is scheduled to be released on December 14, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures.




DEA Special Agent Jeff Moore, who arrested 87-year-old Leo Sharp in 2011, was interviewed by The New York Times regarding the investigation into the world's oldest and most prolific drug mule. The rights to the article "The Sinaloa Cartel's 90-Year-Old Drug Mule," written by Sam Dolnick,[1] were sold to Imperative Entertainment in 2014.

Imperative Entertainment hired Ruben Fleischer to direct and produce the film.[2] In February 2015, Nick Schenk was hired to adapt the article into a film's screenplay.[3]

In January 2018, it was revealed that Clint Eastwood would next star, direct and produce the film, titled The Mule, for Warner Bros. Pictures and Imperative.[4] Producers include Eastwood for Malpaso Productions along with Tim Moore, Kristina Rivera and Jessica Meier, and Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas for Imperative Entertainment.[5]


In January 2018, Eastwood joined the film to play the role of Earl Stone (Leo Sharp), a man in his 80s who is working as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel.[4] In May 2018, Bradley Cooper joined the cast to play the DEA agent Colin Bates (Jeff Moore), chasing Stone, and along with Cooper, Lobo Sebastian also joined the film.[6][7] In June 2018, Dianne Wiest and Michael Peña joined the film's cast to play Earl Stone's ex-wife and the drug cartel enforcer, respectively.[8] More cast was also confirmed, including Laurence Fishburne as a DEA special agent in charge, Alison Eastwood as Stone's daughter, Taissa Farmiga as Stone's granddaughter, and Ignacio Serricchio as Stone's cartel handler.[5] That same month, Loren Dean joined the cast of the film.[9] In July 2018, Victor Rasuk was also cast in the film, in which Manny Montana will also star.[10]


Principal photography on the film began on June 4, 2018 in Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia.[8][5] It will also be shot in Las Cruces, New Mexico.[5]


It is scheduled to be released on December 14, 2018 in the United States[11] and on January 2019 in the United Kingdom.[12]


  1. ^ Dolnick, Sam (June 11, 2014). "The Sinaloa Cartel's 90-Year-Old Drug Mule". The New York Times. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
  2. ^ Yamato, Jen (November 4, 2014). "Ruben Fleischer To Direct Movie About 90-Year-Old Drug Mule". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  3. ^ Sneider, Jeff (February 24, 2015). "'The Judge' Writer Nick Schenk to Adapt Elderly Drug Mule Tale for 'Zombieland' Director (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (January 30, 2018). "Clint Eastwood Circling 90-Year-Old Drug Courier Tale "The Mule" at Warner Bros., Imperative (Exclusive)". The Tracking Board. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "Clint Eastwood's "The Mule" Begins Production". Business Wire. June 4, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  6. ^ Kroll, Justin (May 18, 2018). "Bradley Cooper to Star With Clint Eastwood in 'The Mule' (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  7. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (May 24, 2018). "Lobo Sebastian Cast In 'The Mule' & 'Words On Bathroom Walls'; Martha Kelly Joins 'Corporate Animals'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Kit, Borys (June 4, 2018). "Dianne Wiest, Michael Pena Join Clint Eastwood's 'The Mule' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  9. ^ Busch, Anita (June 11, 2018). "Loren Dean Joins 'The Mule'; Camrus Johnson Boards 'The Sun Is Also A Star'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  10. ^ Pedersen, Erik; D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 17, 2018). "Victor Rasuk Joins Clint Eastwood's 'The Mule'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  11. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 27, 2018). "Clint Eastwood's 'The Mule' Kicks Its Way Onto December Release Calendar". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  12. ^ "'The Mule' is in UK Cinemas January 2019". Retrieved 8 October 2018.

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