EXCLUSIVE: AMC’s 1960s mad men may be soon joined by some goodfellas from the same era. The cable network, home of such acclaimed series as Mad Men and Breaking Bad, has put in development a series version of one of the most praised movies of all time, the 1990 Martin Scorsese mob classic Goodfellas. Nicholas Pileggi, who wrote the movie based on his non-fiction book Wiseguy, is on board to co-write the TV series adaptation with TV writer-producer Jorge Zamacona (Homicide: Life On The Street). The two will executive produce with the film’s producer Irwin Winkler and his son David. Warner Horizon Television, the cable TV production sibling of Warner Bros, which distributed Scorsese’s film, is producing the series.
The idea of turning Goodfellas into a series with Pileggi and Irwin Winkler on board has been percolating for a while. My colleague Mike Fleming wrote first about it in September 2010. The movie Goodfellas, which Pileggi co-wrote with Scorsese, stars Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci and follows the rise and fall of the Lucchese crime family associate Henry Hill (Liotta) and his friends from 1955 to 1980. It was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and director, and won one, for best supporting actor (Pesci). In addition to Goodfellas, Pileggi has another 1960s drama project in the works, Ralph Lamb at CBS. James Mangold is attached to direct the project, based on the true story of Ralph Lamb, a cowboy-turned-Las Vegas sheriff in the ’60s and ’70s. After starting off with original concepts (Mad Men, Breaking Bad), AMC has been betting on series based on source material recently with The Walking Dead, based on a graphic novel, and The Killing, based on a Danish series.