Fuqua film upsets crime family
The new film from Antoine Fuqua and Nicholas Pileggi is facing some trouble from members of a real life crime family who are being consulted and featured in the film.
The film is in early development, and as with many films that Fuqua works on, the director likes to do real research with police and criminals alike to find out what the real story is. In this case it looks like the real research has caused him, and the film, a few problems.
Linda Schiro has filed a law suit against Morgan Creek looking to stop the release of the film that they are currently working on. She is the girlfriend if the Colombo crime family head Gregory Scarpa, nicknamed "The Grim Reaper" and her and her daughter, nicknamed "Little Linda", claim to have given interviews to the writer Nicholas Pileggi and the director Antoine Fuqua for their research on the film. In return they were promised US $150,000 for their life rights and roles as consultants on the film, which would presumably pay more yet again.
However this seems not to have materialised and so they are suing.
The film would look at the real life story of Gregory Scarpa and how he allegedly carried out dozens of murders over three decades for the crime family headed by Carmine "Junior" Persico who died in prison in 1994. To make the story even more interesting, The Hollywood Reporter story tells us that Scarpa allegedly had a relationship with a corrupt FBI agent Lindley DeVecchio.
To make the story even more murky, Schiro, who was the mistress of Scarpa, testified on behalf of the government against the FBI agent DeVecchio. The case was eventually dropped, but still, it's another strange twist in the relationships of all the characters.
It sounds a complex and dramatic story, with the one behind the scenes looking like it's trying to rival the real life story one.
The studio representatives are saying that they haven't even seen the lawsuit and deny any wrong doing, but then the people behind the suit were involved with a crime family. Their lawyers and the suit says:
"Morgan Creek made said promises with the intent to defraud plaintiffs, and for the purpose of inducing plaintiffs to rely upon said promises by providing interviews with the producers, screenwriter and director."
Meanwhile, Morgan Creek are in denial saying that the film isn't slowing down and that Fuqua and Pileggi are continuing to meet and work on the project with a green light decision on the film being made very soon, a decision that would be coming anyway.
The article talks about two other law suits which are a bit confusing, one is about a book that has nothing to do with the film, so that's out the window, and the other is that an amended suit is set to arrive today on claims that Nicolas Cage and Ethan Hawke were set to play roles in the film. Now it's a little confusing if this is the same law suit from Schiro or not, and what it has to do with anything. Suffice to say the film is facing a bit of a tough time to get made if it does get the greenlight.
To use a much overused phrase and one that is used for all manner of evils, in this current economic climate, perhaps it would be easier just to not green light it and move on.