New World Releasing via Everett Collection
Actor James Russo is set to reunite with his Public Enemies co-star Johnny Depp in Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass.
The star, who also appeared in Donnie Brasco and The Ninth Gate with Depp, will play U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Scott Garriola, who ran the FBI's fugitive task force in Los Angeles when the Massachusetts gangster was arrested in 2011, according to TheWrap.com.
Black Mass isn't the only film based on Bulger's life story in development - Matt Damon is also set to star as the crime lord in a new project directed by his pal Ben Affleck, while Twilight actor Peter Facinelli is set to star in a TV adaptation of Edward MacKenzie and Phyllis Karas' book Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer For Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob.
Johnny Depp is in talks to take on another real-life role after showing interest in a new Harry Houdini biopic. Dean Parisot's The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero reimagines the master illusionist and escape artist as an occult investigator, and is based on William Kalush and Larry Sloman's book of the same name, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Depp is currently portraying Boston, Massachusetts gang boss Whitey Bulger in new film Black Mass and he also famously portrayed John Dillinger (Public Enemies), J.M. Barrie (Finding Neverland) , Ed Wood (Ed Wood), George Jung (Blow), Inspector Frederick Abberline (From Hell) and Joseph D. Pistone (Donnie Brasco) on the big screen.
Actress Anne Heche has become embroiled in a legal battle over the ownership of her children's sunscreen line. The Donnie Brasco star and her actor husband James Tupper launched the Tickle Time powder sunblock last year (12) with business partners Kathleen Tracy and Nicole Tracy-Arranaga, but the relationship has broken down following a disagreement over a proposed expansion of the product range.
Tracy and Tracy-Arranaga recently filed suit against the husband and wife team, accusing the pair of breach of fiduciary duty after reportedly agreeing to use Heche's fame to promote the item, only for her to allegedly skip three public appearances.
The plaintiffs also claim Heche had "absolutely no involvement whatsoever in Tickle Time" for six months as she was busy filming U.S. TV comedy Save Me, and then reportedly tried to force the partners to launch adult sunscreens - which would directly compete with their newly-established La Bella Donna (LBD) brand.
However, Heche and her husband have hit back with their own lawsuit, in which they claim Tracy and Tracy-Arranaga were "actively developing" the idea for the La Bella Donna sunscreen collection for adults while the Tickle Time partners were already discussing similar products for their shared brand. They have also attacked their business partners for allegedly sabotaging Tickle Time to "make way" for LBD by failing to stock enough of the mineral ingredients required to make the kids' sunblock to meet consumer demand.
Heche and Tupper are seeking restitution, punitive damages for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and prospective economic advantage. They are also demanding Tracy and Tracy-Arranaga sell back their 50 per cent interest in Tickle Time to the couple.
The star, who was best known for his portrayal of mob kingpin Carmine Lupertazzi in hit TV show The Sopranos, passed away in hospital in Teaneck, New Jersey on Friday (04Jan12).
The exact cause of his death is unknown but family members told local newspaper The Record of Woodland Park that Lip's health had been failing in recent years.
Born Frank Anthony Vallelonga, Lip played minor league baseball in North Carolina with the St. Louis Browns organisation, then served in the American Army from 1951 to 1953 in Germany.
During the 1960s, he worked as general manager of the famed Copacabana nightclub in Manhattan, New York City where he met The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola and casting director Louis DiGiaimo, who gave him a minor role in the movie as a wedding guest.
Lip went on to star in successful films Goodfellas, Raging Bull and Donnie Brasco.
In 2005, he co-wrote and released a cookbook titled Shut Up And Eat!, in which he and Italian-American actors James Gandolfini, Danny Aiello and Chazz Palminteri shared their families' favourite Italian recipes.
His funeral will take place on Tuesday (08Jan13) in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.
On Friday, Hollywood lost one of its most famed mobster-playing actors. Actor Tony Lip, best known for his role as crime boss Carmine Lupertazzi in the hit HBO series The Sopranos, passed away Friday in Teaneck, N.J., The Associated Press reports via The New York Times. Lip, who was born Frank Anthony Vallelonga, died at the age of 82 after years of poor health.
Lip was a renowned actor, especially when it came to playing mafioso roles. Besides The Sopranos, he secured the role of real-life Bonanno family gangster Philip Giaccone in Donnie Brasco. He also played Lucchese crime family member Francesco Manzo in Goodfellas. Lip even made his debut film role in The Godfather, after meeting Francis Ford Coppola and Louis DiGiamo at Copacabana Nightclub in New York City.
Lip was born in Beaver Falls, Penn., but grew up in The Bronx. He got his nickname in 1938 because he could out-talk anyone. Lip is survived by his sons Nick Vallelonga and Frank Vallelonga Jr. and one grandson.
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[Photo Credit: HBO]
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In this country, you've got to make the Quiz Show first. And then when you make the Quiz Show, you get the Donnie Brasco. And then when you make the Donnie Brasco, you get the Scarface. There are also a few Good Germans in there somewhere, but you get the gist. Deadline reports that screenwriter Paul Attanasio is being tasked with rewriting the script for the developing Scarface remake.
The accomplished writer/producer — who in addition to the listed titles has also worked on Homicide: Life on the Streets and House — will be taking scripting responsibilities from David Ayer, the writer of Training Day and the recent release End of Watch. Ayer's well-received credits aside, Attanasio does seem more fit to take on a project like this. His films have exhibited the cultural gravity and extensive scopes befitting a retelling of Tony Montana's story. But how much of the Brian de Palma classic should be recreated in Attanasio's script?
The 1983 film's script, written by wordsmith Oliver Stone, consists of an army of memorable one-liners. In fact, Scarface is a movie more substantially defined by its individual lines and speeches than many of its peers, leading to a plausible dilemma in terms of a remake. Some of these recognizable bits of dialogue would be easily conducive to reproduction in a film with a dissimilar perspective — for instance, Michelle Pfeiffer's forewarning: "Don't get high on your own supply." But then there are those far too entrenched in the highly specific, gritty mood of de Palma's Scarface, i.e. star Al Pacino's, "This town is like a great big p**** waiting to get f***ed." Not nearly as malleable; Attanasio's incarnation of Montana would have to be pretty in line with Stone's in order to pull that off, provoking the question of whether or not a remake that identical to the '83 picture is accomplishing anything new.
Topping the list of memorable Scarface lines is of course, "Say hello to my little friend!" A catchphrase that simultaneously has to be in the new movie and can't be in the new movie. How could they possible get it right? How could they possibly avoid it? Wouldn't it soften the blow to recreate such a cinematic scene, and build toward a derivative final product? Tackling a tagline like this, as well as other specific memorable components of Scarface (the mountains of cocaine, Montana's fall to his death, the tiger), will be difficult dealings for any screenwriter attempting a remake. Maybe that's why they had to bring in a new one...
[Photo Credit: Universal Pictures]
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The one-time lesbian lover of TV star Ellen DeGeneres was up for the role of an erotic dancer in the 1993 film and to make sure she would be able to impress her acting hero at the try-out, she actually took to the stage at a real strip joint.
Heche, who was in her early 20s at the time, missed out on the role - because Pacino thought she looked too young - but the club bosses who caught her routine weren't quite so fussy.
She tells WENN, "I had to strip for the screen test because there's this scene where he comes into the strip club and so the last thing I did before my screen test was I went into a strip club and asked if I could audition. I walked in completely as an unknown.
"I went to where the strippers get their outfits and I had a wig and I did a shot of scotch that was in my hotel bar. I was scared to death. I stripped that night and they offered me the job at the club! I was very, very shy about my body and it was so wild. I didn't go completely nude; I had pasties and a G-string on, but to have the experience of being on stage and the feeling of the control of entertaining the men there was surprisingly liberating.
"That's how I knew I could go and do the screen test and not worry about being truthful as a stripper. I didn't get the part because I was too young."
Heche did eventually work with Pacino in Donnie Brasco.
The actors filmed the mob thriller together in 1997 and the Pirates of the Caribbean star admits Pacino's sense of humour made it one of the most memorable shoots of his career - even though it took Depp a while to figure out the gag's punchline.
Depp says, "Al's fantastic, he's a legend. All I knew about Al prior to shooting was that he was certifiably insane.
"He's a joker but he'd like to tell me this one specific joke over and over. And I really didn't understand it, I didn't get the joke! He thought it was my problem. He inflicted it upon me and I could feel my IQ points drop.
"I finally figured it out. He'd lean over and he'd go, 'John. Skeleton goes into a bar. Orders a beer and a mop.' On a loop. He would howl every time he told the joke."
"As a personality and as a person, I just loved him. I loved him. I loved being with him because he made me laugh every day I was there. He's nuts, too... He'll say I'm nuts, but he's really nuts. But he's nuts in that way that he's just fun to be with." AL PACINO is full of praise for his DONNIE BRASCO co-star JOHNNY DEPP.
Source: Deadline Hollywood
Mickey Rourke is reportedly in talks with Tony Scott about starring in the director's next two films, Deadline says. The first would be Potzdamer Platz," a film on which Samuel Hadida's Paris-based Metropolitan could take the lead financing/producing role and the second is Hell's Angels which is tuning up again at Fox 2000.
Deadline says Rourke would play Sonny Barger, the man who formed an Oakland chapter of the motorcycle group and helped transform the Angels into a national organization.
Fox 2000 has brought Scott Frank in to do a significant rewrite of the picture that is being framed as a Donnie Brasco-style drama, says Deadline.
A younger actor would play a cop who attempts to infiltrate the club to investigate alleged criminal activities. Deadline says Scott has met with Shia LaBeouf.
As for Potzdamer Platz, Javier Bardem and Jason Statham are also interested. The drama is about two soldiers in a New Jersey-based crime family who try to expand internationally. Scott, says Deadline, hasn't given up on Gene Hackman for a role as well.
Documentary on FBI agent Joseph Pistone, also known as Donnie Brasco. In July 1976, Joseph Pistone infiltrated one of New York's most infamous crime families as jewel thief Donnie Brasco gathered information that would lead to convictions and jail sentences for members of the mob.