EXCLUSIVE: Relativity has acquired screen rights to Blood Aces: The Wild Ride Of Benny Binion and has set Cliff Dorfman to adapt the Doug Swanson book. Dorfman has a first look with Relativity. Binion’s résumé reads like this: cowboy, pioneering casino owner, gangster, killer and founder of the World Series of Poker. The book chronicles his role in shaping modern Las Vegas. From a Texas backwater, Binion rose to prominence on a combination of vision, determination and brutal expediency. His formula was simple: Run a good business, cultivate the big boys, kill your enemies, own the cops. While he controlled his competition through ruthless violence, his irresistible charm brought him the protection of the political elite. But one feud went too far, and a competitor he later would assassinate after 12 attempts ran him out of Dallas. Binion moved to Las Vegas, opening the Horseshoe Casino — where he legally operated despite continued gangster tactics, evading the law for decades — and died a gambling legend. Relativity President of Production Robbie Brenner will oversee.
The tale was put together by Swanson, an investigative reporter for the Dallas Morning News who has written five crime novels. Dorfman worked on HBO’s Entourage and co-wrote the Tom Hardy-Joel Edgerton mixed martial arts drama Warrior. He scripted a reboot of The Crow for Relativity. ICM Partners brokered the deal for the book with Foundry Literary + Media’s David Patterson. ICM reps Dorfman with Apostle’s George Heller.