EXCLUSIVE: Michael Mann has set the first publishing project for his new book imprint Michael Mann Books: he will team up with Don Winslow, the bestselling author of The Cartel to co-create an original novel about the complex relationship between two Organized Crime giants, Tony Accardo and Sam Giancana. The project will be developed into a feature film that Mann will produce and possibly direct, based on the novel and a pre-existing screenplay Mann co-wrote with Shane Salerno. Deadline revealed Mann’s publishing imprint earlier this week, and his plans to work with top notch authors to generate a series of books including a prequel to his 1995 crime classic Heat.
Winslow will begin work late spring on this, after delivering his next book. Discussions with publishers will begin shortly and the book will be released in 2017. The subject matter has the potential to be as sprawling as Winslow’s most recent bestseller The Cartel. Tony Accardo ran the Chicago Outfit – an efficient, unified and massive organization that was the single most powerful criminal enterprise in America. In 1959, LIFE Magazine estimated that the Chicago Outfit’s revenue constituted 6% of the U.S. national income. Accardi ran the outfit after predecessor Frank Nitti committed suicide in 1943, but his career as a gangster started around the time of the 1929 St. Valentine’s Massacre and spanned eight decades, through the Reagan era.
Giancana – mentored and installed by Accardo to front the Chicago Outfit from 1957 to 1966 – elevated the enterprise onto the New Frontier with bold moves that converged national commerce and industry with politics, Las Vegas, the music industry, Hollywood, and co-ventures with the CIA. His megalomania elevated him to heights never dreamed possible; that exposure eventually became radioactive. Giancana was brutally murdered in 1975.
For the book, Mann has acquired rights and previously undisclosed material from the Accardo family. Both Mann and Winslow have made a living writing about crime: Mann, with genre classics from Heat to Public Enemies, Thief, Manhunter, Miami Vice, Crime Story and the miniseries Drug Wars; Winslow with novels that include The Winter of Frankie Machine, Savages, The Power of the Dog and The Cartel. The latter two spanned the start of the Drug War and the rise of the cartels in Mexico, and those books sold at auction to Fox for a film that Ridley Scott is attached to direct. Winslow has won the Raymond Chandler Award in Italy, the Maltese Falcon Award in Japan and the RBA International Prize for crime writing in Spain, among other plaudits. Michael Mann Books is repped by Salerno at The Story Factory. Mann is represented by CAA, LBI and Attorney Harold Brown.