EXCLUSIVE: Lana Turner’s mobster boyfriend Johnny Stompanato was allegedly stabbed to death in her house by her daughter Cheryl Crane in 1958.
This incident is the basis for Casey Sherman’s next true crime thriller; A Murder in Hollywood, and it’s also heading to the small screen.
Jake Crane, no relation, who wrote the screenplay for Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell-fronted Korean War feature Devotion, directed by J.D. Dillar, has optioned the rights to the book and will adapt.
A Murder in Hollywood is Sherman’s 16th book and follows tomes such as The Finest Hours, which was adapted into a film by Disney starring Chris Pine, and Boston Strong, which was adapted into Patriots Day starring Mark Wahlberg.
A Murder in Hollywood chronicles the fatal stabbing of screen legend Turner’s gangster boyfriend Stompanato inside her Beverly Hills mansion in the late 1950s. Crane was exonerated after a coroner’s inquest ruled that the homicide was deemed justifiable as a result of physical abuse within the family. Stompanato was affiliated with the Cohen crime family and started dating Turner after The Lady Takes A Flyer.
The book will be published by Sourcebooks later this year. It will take a fresh look at the killing and explore how Turner was targeted for extortion by Stompanato and his boss Mickey Cohen. It will also explore the theory that Turner, in fact, killed Stompanato.
Sherman will produce along with Jake Crane and his producing partner, Geoff Stults.
Crane co-wrote the screenplay Devotion with Jonathan Stewart and Adam Makos. He is currently adapting Bill Plaschke’s book, Paradise Found, for 101 Studios about the Paradise High School Football team’s season in the aftermath of the wildfires that devastated the Northern California town in 2018.
Crane is repped by CAA, Grandview and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman. Sherman is represented by Gotham Group and UTA.
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