White Tuna by Peter Marshall Smith | Script Revolution

White Tuna

Aided by an aging Western lawman, an American reporter uncovers proof connecting the ruling class of Mexico to a drug smuggling operation, and must flee the country to protect his source’s 6-year-old son.



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In February of 1995 the Mexican government spent millions in Washington D.C. hiring top lobbying firms to help overturn the “dolphin safe” tuna embargo that had inadvertently undermined the main cocaine trafficking pipeline in the Pacific. Raul Salinas de Gortari, the brother of former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari along with members of the PRI, had invested a fortune in Pescadero Azteca, Mexico’s largest tuna fleet. This joint venture with the Cali and Tijuana Cartels enabled the smuggling of massive quantities of cocaine on tuna schooners.


An aging Texas Ranger undergoes a deadly mission to save a kidnapped child and repay a debt to a slain journalist who uncovered proof of a massive drug smuggling operation. Meanwhile a veteran FBI agent tries to close the case of a suspected serial killer to reunite with her ailing daughter. Little does she know the ranger is the killer she needs to catch.

WHITE TUNA is a serial crime thriller with a unique structure that follows three protagonists.

The story begins following the first, Will Henry, a journalist hell bent on chasing the biggest story of his life, exposing the tuna-cocaine smuggling connection in the Pacific. In the process, he inadvertently acquires the shipping manifests and financial records of the entire smuggling operation as well as evidence connecting the ruling class of Mexico. This accidental revelation puts his source in harm’s way and he is forced to choose between fleeing to save himself and staying to protect the innocents left behind. He chooses to stay and call in help from a old friend, the second protagonist, Texas Ranger, Mike Doyle.

In an unconventional twist Will Henry is killed at the end of the pilot teeing up the second major storyline of the series; a Cartel ransom of an innocent boy in exchange for a critical hard-drive.

Mike Doyle’s mission to recover the boy, brutally executing one target after another, becomes viewed as supernatural wrath by the Cartel soldiers, and who’s to say it’s not? Who’s to say that the rage and conviction of one man is not a form of possession.

Enter the 3rd protagonist, FBI agent Fawn Fletcher assigned to unravel his crimes. Fletcher is an analyst in the BAU-2 unit and hoping for one last simple assignment and early retirement to manage the care of her mentally ill teenage daughter. Despite her efforts to quickly close the case, Agent Fletcher becomes entangled in the pursuit of what she believes to be a serial killer in the Southwest. Who is to say that Doyle’s savage executions are not the actions of a serial killer?

The bewildering murders, acts of war from another epoch, will not only threaten Fletcher’s life, but put her soul at hazard, forcing her to confront her core beliefs about good and evil.

Each of these heroes is fiercely committed to a final life mission in the chaotic frontier of the U.S./Mexico borderlands.


All Accolades & Coverage: 

Finalist, ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship 2020
Finalist, The Script Lab Free Screenplay Contest 2020
Semifinalist, ScreenCraft Drama Competition 2020
Semifinalist, CineStory Fellowship Competition 2020
Semifinalist, Fade In TV Pilot Contest 2020
Semifinalist, Stage 32 Television Writing Contest 2021
Red List, Coverfly - Top rated Thriller Television (One-hour)
Recommended Coverage - 10/10 rating, TSL Free Screenplay Contest 2020

Submitted: February 26, 2022
Last Updated: March 1, 2022

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The Writer: Peter Marshall Smith

Peter is a filmmaker and the co-founder of Lasrever , an independent production company based in Los Angeles. Since graduating with a BA in Theater from UCLA, he has directed multiple short films, including Here It Comes , which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, and shown on MTV. He was the principal director and editor of The Underground , a TV show on LA36. He was also a producer and editor for the documentary, Tupamaro: Urban Guerrillas , which won Best Foreign Film and the Golden Palm Award for Best Picture at the 2017 Beverly Hills Film Festival. The documentary was broadcast on the ARTE channel and is now available on Amazon Prime . His latest directorial effort, Lost... Go to bio