EXCLUSIVE: In a blockbuster TV package that will come to networks shortly looking for a series commitment, The Weinstein Company is behind an adaptation of Omerta with Sylvester Stallone to play the lead role of mob boss Raymonde Aprile, the last great American Don and his anointed successor. The Magnificent Seven‘s Antoine Fuqua is directing. This is based on the final novel by The Godfather author Mario Puzo, and I wanted to get out in front of it because it’s coming together quickly. A pilot script and a bible are already in place by Justin Herber and Adam Hoff, and a writers room is quickly being assembled. A showrunner and a female lead actress will be in place shortly. The networks will soon have their shot at it, with the expectation one will bite for a full series commitment.
This is a disruptive move for Stallone after his Oscar-nominated turn reprising Rocky Balboa in the Ryan Coogler-directed Creed, but it also sounds like a strong next step for him by playing an outsize protagonist. It certainly worked out well for film actors, as when Alec Baldwin moved to television in 30 Rock and gave his career a whole new dimension.
Fuqua and Stallone will be exec producers along with Harvey and Bob Weinstein and David Glasser. TWC’s Megan Spanjian has been putting it all together. Harvey Weinstein bought Puzo’s final novel a decade ago to turn it into a movie. It languished when script after script couldn’t compress the storyline down to a feature. Turns out it was better suited for an event TV series. More to come on this one.
Stallone’s repped by WME and Fuqua by CAA. Herber and Hoff, who also executive produce, are repped by CAA, manager Thomas Carter and attorney Lev Ginsburg.