Deadline Hollywood is reporting that William Friedkin, the Oscar-winning director of The Exorcist, The French Connection and Sorcerer, is planning to direct a film version of Don Winslow's crime thriller novel The Winter of Frankie Machine about a retired Mafia hit man who finds that someone is out to kill him. He must figure out who it is and why before time runs out. The project is in its early stages with no financing or studio attached. Friedkin won't approach investors or seek a distribution deal until a script is finalized. Winslow is said to be working on the screenplay now and Friedkin may collaborate on that. The book has tempted directors such as Martin Scorsese and Michael Mann in the past but nothing became of those projects. Friedkin wants to get back to his roots and shoot the movie in a gritty style with a budget of $15 million maximum. That should make the project plenty tempting for both studios and investors. Friedkin has rarely made films in recent years, preferring to concentrate on his passion for directing operas. For more click here.