EXCLUSIVE: The Pope of Greenwich Village is headed to the small screen.
Hawk Koch and Gene Kirkwood, producers of the 1984 film, have teamed with Oscar-winning writer Nick Vallelonga (Green Book), writer/director George Gallo (Midnight Run), and Oscar-nominated actor/writer/playwright Chazz Palminteri, (A Bronx Tale) to develop an eight-hour miniseries based on Vincent Patrick’s best-selling 1979 book The Pope of Greenwich Village and its 1984 feature adaptation.
The Pope of Greenwich Village film starred Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts and Daryl Hanna. It revolved about two cousins, Charlie and Paulie, played by Roberts and Rourke respectively, who unknowingly rob the mob and face dangerous consequences.
Vallelonga, Gallo and Palminteri are all native New Yorkers, and Vallelonga has a personal connection to the film.
“My father, Tony Lip, who Green Book was about, played the role of Frankie Shy in the opening scene of the original film, and I was an extra in the stickball scene, so to have this opportunity to be working with George and Chazz on the retelling of Vincent Patrick’s amazing story, is really coming full circle and quite an honor for me,” said Vallelonga.
Geraldine Page, Kenneth McMillan and Burt Young also starred in the film, which was directed by Stuart Rosenberg and adapted by Patrick. Page received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her two-scene role. (Watch a trailer below)
“Vincent Patrick’s The Pope of Greenwich Village isn’t just a great story, (which it most certainly is) it’s a portrait of New York City in the 1970s/80’s,” said Gallo. “A city teeming with life. The clubs. The restaurants. The back alleys. And the Wise Guys who still wielded a great deal of influence and power. It’s a nod to a time and place and a city that’s gone and never coming back. And our two main characters, Charlie and Paulie will travel through every element of that vibrant time. For Chazz, Nick and I, it’s especially exciting because we were all there in our youth and we can all tell the story through the eyes of people who actually lived it.”
Added Palminteri, “Writing with Nick Vallelonga and George Gallo is a joy… We all have our own voice but when we write together it’s perfect harmony.”
Vallelonga won an Oscar for Best Screenplay for Green Book and shared in the film’s Best Picture Oscar win. Gallo most recently wrote and directed the 2020 film The Comeback Trail, and he’s set to direct the feature adaptation of A.J. Benza’s 2015 childhood memoir ’74 and Sunny. As an actor, Palminteri was most recently seen on Broadway in the musical version of A Bronx Tale.