Hollywood’s fascination with the mob continues.
Brad Furman has come aboard to direct Sylvester Stallone in Scarpa for Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films, a high-profile project currently being pulled together and one they hope to put before the cameras next year, possibly in the first quarter. The project will be produced by Irwin Winkler (Rocky). Stallone will star as Gregory Scarpa, a former capo and enforcer (hitman) for the Colombo crime family known as the Grim Reaper.
The script is by crime aficionado Nicholas Pileggi, whose screenplay for Goodfellas was nominated for an Oscar and whose Casino was also critically acclaimed. (And, btw, he should have been nominated again for Casino which he adapted from his own book). Both were directed by Martin Scorsese.
Stallone would play one of the best-known sociopaths in organized crime — a man who murdered for the family, suspected in the murders of his own biological family, then turned FBI informant (like many of the wise guys end up doing). He was eventually indicted for multiple murders. He called himself the Killing Machine and boasted of 50 murders — as if that was something to be proud of. His own daughter said living with him was like living with a serial killer. He later became a prisoner in his own body and died in 1994 from AIDS-related complications in a Minnesota prison. Karma.
You know all Italians are not criminals, though you wouldn’t know it from the movies Hollywood puts out. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: With his Runner Runner set to hit theaters this week, Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) has signed to write and direct Bigger for Bee Holder Productions. The biopic tells the story of the Weider brothers — bodybuilding icon Joe Weider, the Canadian entrepreneur who created the Mr. Olympia competition and mentored budding champ Arnold Schwarzenegger, and brother Ben, who co-founded the International Federation of BodyBuilding with Joe in 1946. Steve Lee Jones and his Bee Holder Productions have optioned the rights to the Weider brothers’ life story as well as rights to Brothers of Iron, the duo’s 2006 biographical tome chronicling their journey from dirt-poor sons of Jewish immigrants battling anti-Semitism to the owners of an international health and fitness empire. The Weider family business grew to include a supplements line, fitness magazines, and the Mr. Olympia, Ms. Olympia, and Masters Olympia bodybuilding contests. Bigger will chronicle the siblings’ rise thanks to Joe’s vision and Ben’s biz smarts. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Brad Furman has been set to direct a drama series based on James Patterson’s book series Private, which is being pitched around town as a straight-to-series project. Sonar Entertainment is producing. Furman most recently directed Lionsgate’s 2011 feature The Lincoln Lawyer. John McLaughlin (The Black Swan) has written the initial two-episode pilot and will pen future episodes. Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro of Tribeca Productions have become involved as exec producers in the project, which will center on the novels’ protagonist former CIA agent-turned-private eye Jack Morgan. Tribeca’s Berry Welsh will serve as co-executive producer, and Patterson exec produces along with Leopoldo Gout of James Patterson Entertainment. McLaughlin, Furman, Patterson and Tribeca Prods are repped by CAA; Furman is also repped by Atlas Entertainment. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Brad Furman will finally get behind the camera on a feature film about Colombian drug cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar. The Lincoln Lawyer director has long sought a way into a biopic of Escobar and now has Inside Llewyn Davis star Oscar Isaac aboard for the lead role, which is based on the Black List script by Matt Aldrich. Isaac will be in a lot of conversations before and after that Coen brothers pic comes out December 6. Relativity Media is the distributor and will sell the project in Cannes. Raging Bull Entertainment’s Joseph Khouri and Joe Isgro will produce with Scott Pictures’ Scott Steindorff, Film 360′s Scott Lambert, Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh and Tucker Tooley. Scott Lastaiti and Dylan Russell are exec producing. Filming begins in September in Colombia. Steindorff is producing and funding Jane Got Gun, the pic that finally came together with a final piece of casting in Ewan McGregor, who stars with Natalie Portman, Noah Emmerich and Joel Edgerton. The pic is near the end of production under helmer Gavin O’Connor.
Isaac is repped by UTA and Inspire Entertainment, Furman by CAA and Aldrich by CAA and Jewerl Ross.
How does a wannabe director get that big break behind the camera? Well, Kirk Sullivan is in Colombia prepping his feature directing debut on the tentatively titled The Dead Men, a thriller about an American traveling in Colombia who becomes involved with a group that lives in an abandoned hospital with a haunted past. Every path to the director’s chair is different, but Sullivan’s came from hustling six years, until he was lucky enough to be Joel Silver‘s assistant and plucky enough to raise money to make a short film, The Come Up, as a calling card (check it out below). After graduating from USC in 2006 (on his third attempt to get into the cinematic arts and production program), he worked as a production assistant, sound guy, camera guy, assistant to Lincoln Lawyer producer Brad Furman, and then assistant to the line producer on Silver’s film The Losers. When Silver needed an assistant, his exec Andrew Rona helped Sullivan get a meeting and he got the job. Read More »