Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Alessandro Nivola is negotiating to join Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence in the David O Russell-directed drama on the ABSCAM scandal. Nivola will play Reggio, the federal prosecutor who tried the case in court. The Eric Singer-scripted drama is about the ’70s FBI sting operation Abscam that took down a bunch of U.S. congressmen.

Nivola recently wrapped the Atom Egoyan-directed Devil’s Knot, the drama that stars Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. He plays Terry Hobbs, a stepfather of one of the three murdered children, who later became a focus of suspicion though he has denied any part in the triple murder and has not been brought up on charges. Nivola will next be seen as Elle Fanning’s anarchist father in the Sally Potter-directed Ginger And Rosa, which opens March 15. Nivola is also booked to star with Cooper in the Scott Rudin-produced Broadway revival of The Elephant Man. He’s repped by CAA and Management 360.

The ABSCAM Project, formerly known as American Bullshit, is being produced by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle through Atlas Entertainment, which developed the film at Sony Pictures. The ensemble is being fully financed by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, with Ellison also producing.