EXCLUSIVE: Black Klansman screenwriter and producers David Rabinowitz and Charlie Wachtel are teaming up with The New York Times’ best-selling author Casey Sherman to adapt Sherman’s explosive 2013 true crime novel Animal as a feature film. Animal tells the true story of notorioius mob hitman-turned-government-witness Joe ‘the Animal’ Barboza and U.S. Marshal John Partington.
Rabinowitz and Wachtel recently wrote and co-produced another true story in Black Klansman, directed by Spike Lee, produced by Jordan Peele and starring John David Washington and Adam Driver. Black Klansman tells the story of Ron Stallworth, a detective in Colorado Springs, who dared to challenge the Ku Klux Klan and thwart the hate organization’s attempts to take over the city.
Animal is a drama surely to be as equally gripping as John Partington was sworn to protect Barboza and his family on a remote island in Boston Harbor even as Mafia assassins were attempting to penetrate the island and kill them all.
Barboza is known as the first man ever placed into the Federal Witness Protection Program. He reportedly killed 26 men in the 1960’s before he was convinced by the FBI to testify against ruthless New England mob boss Raymond Patriarca and others.
Partington had been recruited by then U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to assist in the FBI’s war on organized crime, a campaign of putting pressure on soldiers and others in the mob, and then cutting deals to have them testify as government witnesses.
Sherman is the author of ten books including The Finest Hours which was made into a feature film by Walt Disney Studios starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck; Boston Strong, which was one of the works that inspired the Mark Wahlberg film Patriots Day and the upcoming “12,” a book about New England Patriots star Tom Brady, which is also in development as a feature.
Rabinowitz and Wachtel are repped by WME and Jennifer Levy of Behr Abramson Levy. Sherman is repped by Ellen Goldsmith-Vein at Gotham Group and attorney Barry Littman.