To many, he’s known primarily as George Pelecanos, writer/producer of HBO’s The Wire. But before he teamed up with The Wire producer David Simon to give us the gritty depictions of Baltimore life that we’ve all come to know and love, Pelecanos was already an acclaimed novelist in his own right, crafting intricate thrillers set in our nation’s capital. Now, one of his earlier novels, Shoedog, is set to be adapted to the big screen.

Actor/musician Sean “P. Diddy” Combs will star in the screen adaptation, along with The Wire regulars Chad Coleman, Anwar Glover, and Andre Royo. John McNaughton (Wild Things, Mad Dog and Glory) will direct the Stealth Media Group-backed film.

I’m not sure how significant the roles played by Coleman, Glover, and Royo will be, but Combs does appear to play a major role in the film’s story as a character called “Randolph”. Shoedog will also feature Ethan Hawke in the lead role of “Constantine”, as well as Heather Graham, Kris Kristofferson, and Sam Shepard.

From, the film’s synopsis:

Constantine was born in Washington, D.C., and has been roaming the world ever since — finding everything except a home. Randolph has stayed in this city every day, selling shoes downtown, taking care of women who lie about their sizes and sometimes fit him into their beds. Now these two strangers, one white, one black, have come together in a criminal’s audacious plan. With five partners and the hit ready to go down, Constantine doesn’t understand the treacheries, feuds and fantasies swirling around him — and he’s fallen for a woman who only doubles his risk. But Randolph, a self-confessed “shoedog,” can smell trouble a mile away. And when the shooting starts, he’ll give Constantine a chance to live — or die where he was born…

Shoedog is currently in pre-production, and is expected to be released in late 2012.