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The Original Story Pitch For 2006’s Miami Vice Movie Closely Resembled Narcos-TGN


  • Director Antoine Fuqua had a different vision for a Miami Vice adaptation, wanting to incorporate Pablo Escobar’s story, similar to Netflix’s Narcos.
  • This vision would have been very different Michael Mann’s version of the movie, which takes place in the present and stars Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx.
  • Fuqua’s take on Miami Vice might have been more of a draw for audiences due to Escobar’s infamy, but the adaptation is unlikely to ever happen now.



One original story pitch for the Miami Vice movie from director Antoine Fuqua would have been surprisingly close to Narcos. Serving as an adaptation of the 1980s TV show, director Michael Mann’s Miami Vice was released in 2006 to mostly negative reviews, but it has since been reappraised somewhat in recent years. The film stars Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx as detectives Crockett and Tubbs, who work a case involving drug lords and murder that becomes dangerously personal.

In a recent interview with TheWrap, Fuqua reveals that he was, at one point, very interested in putting his own spin on Miami Vice. The director’s idea would’ve been quite different from what ended up in Mann’s version, with a story that involves elements that would eventually take center stage in Netflix’s Narcos. Check out Fuqua’s full comment below:

“I wanted to do ‘Miami Vice.’ I talked to Michael Mann. We sat and talked about that before he did that. At one point he goes, ‘You should direct it.’ I said, ‘No, Michael, that’s yours. That’s your baby.’

“At that time, I was trying to do the Pablo Escobar story. I was going to bring a lot of those elements from the ’80s and ’90 into ‘Miami Vice,’ but in a more real, grounded way. I mean Michael’s great. I love Michael Mann, he’s a friend. But I was going to do it in a different way through the story of Pablo.”

Would Antoine Fuqua’s Miami Vice Have Been Better?

With movies like Heat, The Last of the Mohicans, and Collateral, Mann has proven himself to be one of the most fascinating directors still working today. Despite his beloved hits, however, not every entry in his filmography has been met with universal praise, with Miami Vice and 2015’s Blackhat ultimately proving to be quite divisive. Miami Vice, for example, currently holds a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes and was a box office disappointment.

Most of the negative reviews for the movie largely take issue with its bare-bones and relatively simplistic story, as well as the lack of depth for its lead characters. Miami Vice has enjoyed something of a resurgence recently, though, with the movie’s unique filming style and bold performance choices winning some audiences over. Despite this cultural reappraisal, the success of Netflix’s Narcos suggests that Fuqua’s version of Miami Vice may have been a bigger financial success.

Pablo Escobar is one of the most notorious drug lords in history, a name that may have been enough to draw more audiences to theaters. Whether Fuqua’s take would have actually worked would depend on many other factors, including the actors chosen to play Crockett and Tubbs, but the subject matter alone might have given the story a boost over the more generic Florida drug lords in Mann’s movie. With Vin Diesel apparently attached for a new Miami Vice reboot and Narcos having already covered Escobar’s story, it’s now quite unlikely that Fuqua’s version will ever actually happen.

Source: TheWrap

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