Production is set to commence this August for The Abandoned helmer Eytan Rockaway’s gangster biopic, Lansky, based on the life and times of American monster Bugsy Siegel’s close cohort. Harvey Keitel, best known for roles in hit films like Bad Lieutenant and Pulp Fiction will star alongside Emory Cohen, Sam Worthington and Austin Stowell. Alexandra Daddario and Tony Danza are in talks to join.
Investigated and pursued for decades by the FBI, the aging crime boss Meyer Lansky is now living in quiet anonymity in Miami Beach. When Lansky enlists a young journalist named David Stone (Sam Worthington) to tell his story, the Feds use him as a pawn to track down the hundreds of millions of dollars that Lansky has been suspected of stashing away for over half a century. As Lansky spins his dizzying tale, Stone finds himself caught in the middle of a game of cat & mouse, uncovering the hidden truth about the life of the notorious boss of Murder Inc. and the National Crime Syndicate.
Based on a story from Ido Fluk and Sharon Mashihi, Rockaway penned the screenplay partially based on his father Robert Rockaway’s interviews with the real-life Lansky; the elder Rockaway teaches history at Tel Aviv University.
Voltage Pictures, whose president and COO Jonathan Deckter made the announcement, are selling the film at Cannes.
Robert Ogden Barnum (Margin Call, Miles Ahead) and Jeff Hoffman will produce with Rainmaker Films’ Russell Geyser (Ten) and Clay Pecorin (The Big Wedding). Deckter will exec produce with Voltage CEO Nicolas Chartier, and with Mark Holder, Christine Holder, Lee Broda and Jeff Rice.
“Eytan’s fierce talent and unparalleled access to the psyche of Meyer Lansky will elevate Lansky to genre-best status,” said Deckter. “Under his stewardship, and with the gifted Sam, Austin and Emory leading the charge, we can’t wait to share this mind-blowing story with audiences. Rob and Jeff have put together another exceedingly creative and commercial project,” Deckter continued.