EXCLUSIVE: Black Label Media has set Black Mass scribe Mark Mallouk to script a film about Frank Calabrese Sr and the crime family he ran out of Chicago that was known as The Outfit. The story will be driven by Kurt Calabrese, the son who was brought into the crime game by his father, and watched as his brother, Frank Jr., volunteered to become an FBI informant — and didn’t ask for compensation or a sentence reduction — helping to bring down his father when the made man implicated himself in 13 gangland murders. Black Label Media will fully finance and Eric Shepherd and Jeff Chianakis will produce with Black Label’s Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill. This comes as Black Label Media prepares for two big Toronto premieres with the Denis Villenueve-directed Sicario and the Jean Marc Valle-directed Demolition. Latter, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, opens the festival.
Frank Calabrese Sr was an extortionist, loan shark and hitman, and brought his kids into the business when Kurt was just 12 years old, his brother a year older. He was by accounts a brutal person, and that and continual threats prompted Frank Jr. to wear the wire. Frank Sr was convicted and sentence to life in prison and he died behind bars in 2012.
Black Label Media was formed in 2013 by Smith and the Luckinbills, and they’ve so far been involved in Begin Again, The Good Lie and more recently ’71, the Yann Demange-directed gem that starred Jack O’Connell. They are readying the Michael Cuesta-directed Code Name Veil, based on the story of a CIA agent navigating morality in 1980s Beirut, and Salinger’s War, which will mark the directorial debut of Danny Strong, whose recent credits have included the hit series Empire, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.
Mallouk, who’s repped by UTA, is also exec producer of the upcoming Everest and A Walk Among The Tombstones and Rush. Black Mass will be released by Warner Bros September 18, after it too plays at Toronto.