Warner Bros. has decided to go to “Cicero,” snapping up a screenplay on Al Capone’s origins from longtime film and TV writer Walon Green (“The Wild Bunch”).
John Lesher is set to produce with Adam Kassan executive producing through their company Le Grisbi Prods. Leonard Ackerman, a producer on Warner Bros.’ 1959 film “Al Capone,” is attached to exec produce.
Lynn Harris is overseeing the project for Warner Bros.
“Cicero” details Capone’s rise from the slums of Brooklyn to the head of the criminal underworld in Chicago during Prohibition, whenhis gang operated casinos and speakeasies throughout the city. In order to operate outside Chicago city limits, the gangster set up headquarters in suburban Cicero, Ill., where he famously took over the city government in 1924.
The script’s described as a throwback to the shoot-’em-up gangster films that Warner released during the 1930s including Edward G. Robinson’s “Little Caesar” and James Cagney’s “The Public Enemy” and “Angels With Dirty Faces.”
Lesher set up Le Grisbi banner last year after exiting the Paramount Film Group presidency. He’d previously also headed the studio’s specialty division Paramount Vantage for several years.
Green’s screen credits include “Eraser,” “Robocop 2” and “Dinosaur.” He’s worked extensively in TV, most recently as an exec producer “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.”