HBO gangster biopic to shoot in L.A., Israel

Eric Roberts, Max Perlich, Illeana Douglas, Ryan Merriman, Beverly D’Angelo and Anthony LaPaglia have joined Richard Dreyfuss in HBO’s original production “Lansky,” a biopic about notorious Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky.

Dreyfuss (“Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “The Goodbye Girl”) had previously signed onto the project, which will be directed by John McNaughton (“Wild Things,” “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer”) and will shoot in and around Los Angeles and in Israel.

Dreyfuss will portray Lansky from the ages of 40 through his mid-70s. Merriman will play Lansky from ages 12-14 and Max Perlich from ages 19-30.

Scripted by Mamet

David Mamet (“Wag the Dog,” “The Spanish Prisoner”) wrote the script. Fred Zollo and Nick Paleologos are the executive producers and Fred Caruso is the producer.

LaPaglia, who won several major awards for his recent legit performance in Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge,” will portray mobster Lucky Luciano in his older years and Roberts (“Runaway Train,” “Star 80″) will play Lansky’s partner, Ben “Bugsy” Siegel, in the character’s later years.

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