New Line to ride ‘Conrail’

Coming-of-age pitch is a high-speed thriller

HOLLYWOOD — New Line Cinema has pacted with Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson’s Contrafilm on “Conrail,” the story of a real-life teenage Robin Hood.

The high-speed thriller and coming-of-age pitch is based on the true story of Eddie Mongon, who spent a decade as the ringleader of a gang that robbed trains and shared the proceeds with the working-class poor of his hometown of Hoboken, N.J.

Mongon led dozens of kids in a gang known as the Conrail Boyz, who used a combination of high-tech equipment and street smarts to steal millions of dollars in merchandise from freight trains, trucking companies and shipping outlets to sell it on the black market.

After his parents, sister and girlfriend were arrested for money laundering and conspiracy, the 28-year-old Mongon surrendered to New Jersey authorities last July.

Vinson told Daily Variety that the script will condense the tale considerably, with the events taking place over a two-year period. However, like the real-life Mongon, the film will feature a leading character who begins his criminal career at 18.

Mongon is expected to begin serving a 15-month sentence this fall.

Project came to Contrafilm through Matt Leipzig at Original Artists. He repped the story’s associated life rights, which came through John McAveeney and Ryan Johnson. Chris Murphey will write the script.

Flynn and Vinson produce. McAveeney is executive producer, with Johnson co-producing.