×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Paramount, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Land ‘The Corporation’ With Benicio Del Toro Starring

Paramount and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way have bought the rights to Cuban-American crime saga “The Corporation” with Benicio del Toro attached to star.

The studio and Paramount-based production company won an auction for T.J. English’s upcoming book “The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuba American Underworld.” The nonfiction book will be published in 2017 by William Morrow. David Matthews, a writer on the HBO series “Vinyl,” will adapt the book.

The story centers on Jose Miguel Battle Sr. (“El Padrino”), the leader of “The Corporation.” Battle served as key operative for Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista, bringing him his cut from the gambling casinos when the mafia ran Cuba.

Battle — also known as the Godfather — escaped to the United States when Fidel Castro took over Cuba in 1959 and was trained by the CIA to invade the country at the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion. Having saved the lives of 28 of his men, he started out running a numbers racket and soon moved on to money laundering and murder.

Battle and his associates never gave up the dream of killing Castro and reclaiming Cuba as they became financiers of the anti-Castro movement. The Corporation would survive and grow until finally being brought down by a detective who pursued them relentlessly for over 15 years.

DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson will produce with The Picture Company’s Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman. Paramount’s purchase of “The Corporation” rights came a week after it signed DiCaprio and his Appian Way production company to a first look deal.

Paradigm handled “The Corporation” deal for rights holders Jaydee Freixas and Tony Gonzalez, who will also produce. Other bidders included Sony, Brett Ratner’s Ratpac and Universal.

Appian Way is currently in post-production on Ben Affleck’s “Live by Night” (2017) and in pre-production on “Robin Hood: Origins” (2017). It recently produced “The Revenant,” which earned DiCaprio the first Oscar of his career; “Wolf of Wall Street”; and “Out of the Furnace.”

The Picture Company is in pre-production on Liam Neeson’s “The Commuter.”

Del Toro starred in “Sicario” and will play a villain in “Star Wars: Episode VIII.”

English worked on “NYPD Blue” as a writer. He’s specialized in organized crime books, including “Born to Kill,” “Paddy Whacked,” “The Havana Mob” and “The Savage City.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Incitement

    'Incitement' Wins Ophir Award for Best Picture, Becomes Israel's Oscar Submission

    “Incitement” was the best-picture winner at Israel’s Ophir Awards on Sunday night, automatically becoming the country’s choice to vie for the international feature film Oscar. The winning film, a drama about the period leading up to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist in 1995, had its global premiere at [...]

  • LargoAI

    LargoAI Wins Inaugural San Sebastian Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Swiss artificial intelligence and data analytics company LargoAI won Sunday’s first-ever San Sebastian Film Festival Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge. LargoAI’s software provides data-driven filmmaking strategies, similar to those used by major VOD platforms which aggregate and often horde their own user-driven data. From early in the screenwriting process through development and [...]

  • MARIANA-RONDÓN-MARITÉ-UGÁS

    FiGa Snags 'Contactado,' By The Team Behind San Sebastian Winner 'Pelo Malo' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s FiGa Films has picked up worldwide sales rights to “Contactado,” the upcoming feature by Sudaca Films’ Marité Ugás and Mariana Rondón, the duo behind San Sebastian 2013 Golden Shell winner, “Pelo Malo.” The Sudaca partners are attending San Sebastian to pitch Rondón-helmed project “Zafari” at the 8th Europe-Latin American Co-production Forum. Directed by [...]

  • Brad Pitt stars in “Ad Astra”.

    'Ad Astra' Lifts Above Competition at International Box Office With $26 Million

    Though “Ad Astra” was overthrown by the Crawley family at the domestic box office, Brad Pitt’s astronaut drama reigned supreme at the international box office. Directed by James Gray, “Ad Astra” launched overseas with $26 million from 44 foreign markets. The $80 million sci-fi epic debuted in North America with $19.2 million, bringing global box [...]

  • hugh jackman tiff bad education

    Toronto's Biggest Deal Goes to HBO: A Sign of the Future? (Column)

    When it comes to how we’ll be watching movies — or, at least, watching serious dramas for adults — in the future, here are two stark and timely contradictory facts: 1. Last week, as the Toronto International Film Festival drew to a close, a deal that had been in the rumor stage for a while [...]

  • 'Talking About Trees' Helmer Suhaib Gasmelbari

    'Talking About Trees' Director Suhaib Gasmelbari Receives Variety MENA Award

    Suhaib Gasmelbari, whose Sudanese documentary “Talking About Trees” premiered in the Berlinale’s Panorama section, received the Variety Middle East and North Africa Region Talent Award Saturday at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt from festival director Intishal Al Timimi. Variety critic Jay Weissberg, who selected the honoree, said that it is not usual that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content