EXCLUSIVE: Grant Gustin, known for his role as Barry Allen/The Flash in the CW eponymous series, has signed on to star in Operation Blue Eyes, in which he’ll play Barry Keenan, the infamous businessman who orchestrated the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra, Jr in 1963. Criminal Minds star Joe Mantegna is directing the indie from a screenplay by Bradley Barth and Joseph Nasser. Production is slated to commence in May.
The plot takes place in December of 1963 when Frank Sinatra Jr. is a struggling lounge singer, deep in his father’s shadow. A young wannabe stock tycoon Barry Keenan, with an ex-wife, alimony payments, a pill-addicted mother, and a similar monkey on his own back (the result of a car crash), comes up with a harebrained scheme to kidnap Junior and hold him for $240,000, ransom, chaos ensues. Barry succeeds in stealing Junior at gunpoint but after that, it’s one badly improvised move after another, until Barry bungles his way into prison.
Barry was eventually sentenced to life in prison but only served four and a half years before being released.
David Arquette starred as Barry Keenan alongside William H. Macy and James Russo in the 2003 Ron Underwood-directed Showtime adaptation, Stealing Sinatra.
Jack Nasser, Joe Nasser and Jacob Nasser of Nasser Group are producing Operation Blue Eyes along with Kirk Shaw on behalf of Wonderfilm.
Gustin’s credits include recurring on teen dramas 90210 and Glee as well as the original Lifetime movie, A Mother’s Nightmare and the Macy-directed film Krystal with Rosario Dawson, Felicity Huffman, and Kathy Bates. He’s repped by Robert Stein Management.
Mantegna, a Tony winner and multiple Emmy award nominee, is repped by ICM.