“‘The Sopranos’ has opened up a new way to look at a mob boss–a family man,” reasons “The Sam Giancana Story” exec producer-screenwriter Dimitri Logothetis. He, partner Nicholas Cellozzi II (who is Giancana’s grand-nephew) and fellow exec producer Mark Wolper had set the six-hour mini at Warners and TNT two years ago. But, the web no longer wants to go this distance, despite a completed 380 pp script by Celozzi. And they are taking it elsewhere.
With “The Sopranos” departing HBO, why not the Giancanas moving in? The project includes information garnered from the Freedom of Information Act by Giancana’s three daughters. Among the characters in the script: the Kennedys (father Joe and sons Jack and Bobby), Marilyn Monroe, Fidel Castro, Frank Sinatra, Phyllis McGuire, the FBI. “We have an unbelieveably great story,” Mark Wolper enthused. “It’s also a great family story–about a father who regularly drove his daughters to school–even when the car’s trunk contained a live body–to be delivered elsewhere. It’s also a story of vengeance–including the death of Marilyn Monroe, the attempt at a dictator’s life, etc.
Sam Giancana is not an entirely new telepic character. He also had a major role in Showtime’s 2002 “Power and Beauty,” the Judith Exner, John F.Kennedy, Frank Sinatra story. Variety’s Michael Speier called that show “an awfully dull telepic.” But writers-producers of the proposed Sam Giancana six-hour story promise his life and its charactes are anything but dull now that facts previously concealed are released by two of his daughters. Logothetis and producer/writer partner Nicholas Cellozzi II along with investment broker David Bender have returned from Cannes where the lobby of the Hotel du Cap was the scene for the settting of a new project. They met up with Joseph Fryzer who agreed to finance the launching of their new project, “Shaker Boyz.” It’s a family film about two teenagers who trip into a successful bookie business out of their parents’ home in Shaker Heights. The pic’s budgeted at $15-20 million.