Hollywood’s fascination with the mob continues.
Brad Furman has come aboard to direct Sylvester Stallone in Scarpa for Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films, a high-profile project currently being pulled together and one they hope to put before the cameras next year, possibly in the first quarter. The project will be produced by Irwin Winkler (Rocky). Stallone will star as Gregory Scarpa, a former capo and enforcer (hitman) for the Colombo crime family known as the Grim Reaper.
The script is by crime aficionado Nicholas Pileggi, whose screenplay for Goodfellas was nominated for an Oscar and whose Casino was also critically acclaimed. (And, btw, he should have been nominated again for Casino which he adapted from his own book). Both were directed by Martin Scorsese.
Stallone would play one of the best-known sociopaths in organized crime — a man who murdered for the family, suspected in the murders of his own biological family, then turned FBI informant (like many of the wise guys end up doing). He was eventually indicted for multiple murders. He called himself the Killing Machine and boasted of 50 murders — as if that was something to be proud of. His own daughter said living with him was like living with a serial killer. He later became a prisoner in his own body and died in 1994 from AIDS-related complications in a Minnesota prison. Karma.
You know all Italians are not criminals, though you wouldn’t know it from the movies Hollywood puts out.
Stallone, of course, co-starred in the hit The Expendables — the Millennium/NuImage project which he had a solo credit for before it came under quite a bit of scrutiny during a lawsuit that questioned the script’s origin; subsequently the WGA ruled that Stallone had to share credit with David Callaham and now it’s escalated into the courts and moving its way through the legal system. The courts dismissed another suit involving screenwriter Marcus Webb who accused Stallone and Millennium of the same thing.
The actor last starred opposite Robert De Niro in Warner Bros’ Grudge Match and just finished Reach Me for Millennium and filmmaker John Herzfeld. Stallone, Pileggi and Furman are repped by WME.