×

Harvey Keitel to Play Gangster Meyer Lansky in Biopic (EXCLUSIVE)

Harvey Keitel will star as notorious gangster Meyer Lansky, a contemporary of Bugsy Siegel, in a biopic directed by Eytan Rockaway. Sam Worthington, Emory Cohen and Austin Stowell are also set to star in the picture, with Alexandra Daddario and Tony Danza in talks to join.

Voltage Pictures has boarded the project and hopes to spark international sales at Cannes. Rockaway wrote the script from a story by Ido Fluk and Sharon Mashihi, partially based on interviews with the real-life Lansky conducted by Rockaway’s father, history professor Robert Rockaway.

The film centers on an aging Lansky living in anonymity in Miami Beach after being investigated and pursued for decades by the FBI. When he enlists a young journalist named David Stone (Worthington) to tell his story, the Feds use him as a pawn to track down the hundreds of millions of dollars that the mobster has been suspected of stashing.

Stone finds himself caught in the middle of a game of cat and mouse, uncovering the hidden truth about the life of the notorious boss of Murder Inc. and the National Crime Syndicate.

Principal photography starts in August. The producers are Robert Ogden Barnum and Jeff Hoffman alongside Rainmaker Films’ Russell Geyser and Clay Pecorin. Executive producers are Voltage’s CEO Nicolas Chartier and Jonathan Deckter alongside Mark Holder, Christine Holder, Lee Broda and Jeff Rice.

“Eytan’s fierce talent and unparalleled access to the psyche of Meyer Lansky will elevate ‘Lansky’ to genre-best status,” said Deckter. “Under his stewardship, and with the gifted Sam, Austin and Emory leading the charge, we can’t wait to share this mind-blowing story with audiences. Rob and Jeff have put together another exceedingly creative and commercial project.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Laundromat Netflix

    Court Refuses to Block Netflix Release of 'The Laundromat'

    A judge has refused to block the release of “The Laundromat,” the Netflix film that is based on the Panama Papers scandal. Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca — the attorneys at the center of the scandal — filed suit in federal court in Connecticut on Tuesday, claiming they were defamed by the film. The attorneys [...]

  • The Captain

    Film Review: ‘The Captain’

    Tense and exciting when it finally gets airborne, Chinese disaster movie “The Captain” is an effective tribute to those who saved the day when the cockpit window of a Sichuan Airlines flight shattered over the Tibetan Plateau on May 14, 2018. Capably assembled by Hong Kong director Andrew Lau (the “Infernal Affairs” trilogy), “The Captain” [...]

  • Fall Out Boy - Patrick StumpLeeds

    Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump to Release 'Spell' Soundtrack, Hear First Single Here

    Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump continues his extensive work in the film/TV soundtrack realm with the release of “Spell,” which comes on Nov. 1 on Milan Records through Sony Music Masterworks. The soundtrack features Stump’s music from Crush Pictures’ psych-thriller, including the ballad “Deep Blue Love.” a soulful, blues-tinged ballad performed by Stump and [...]

  • Tell Me Who I Am

    Film Review: 'Tell Me Who I Am'

    Amnesia has been so overused in movies — a convenient narrative device that effectively forces characters to become detectives into their own past — that it’s startling to encounter a film in which someone really does lose his memory. What’s doubly fascinating about the true-life case of Alex Lewis, in which the surprises just keep on coming, [...]

  • Cyrano, My Love

    Film Review: 'Cyrano, My Love' ('Edmond')

    As fizzy as a freshly poured glass of Perrier-Jouët, though considerably less complex, writer-director Alexis Michalik’s “Cyrano, My Love” . Part fancifully fictional account of the play’s conception, and part “Waiting for Guffman”-style depiction of the wild antics behind its first production, “Cyrano” was released in France earlier this year, and its undemanding immersion into [...]

  • Barney

    Barney the Dinosaur Movie in the Works From Mattel Films and Daniel Kaluuya

    Mattel Films, Daniel Kaluuya’s 59% banner and Valparaiso Pictures are partnering to develop a live-action motion picture based on Barney, Mattel’s iconic purple dinosaur. “Working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable us to take a completely new approach to ‘Barney’ that will surprise audiences and subvert expectations,” said Mattel Films’ Robbie Brenner. “The project will speak [...]

  • Film Republic Sells Svetla Tsotsorkova's 'Sister'

    Film Republic Sells Svetla Tsotsorkova's 'Sister' to China, France (EXCLUSIVE)

    Svetla Tsotsorkova’s second feature film “Sister,” which played at the San Sebastian and London film festivals, has been picked up by Hualu in China and Tamasa in France. World sales are handled by Xavier Henry-Rashid’s Film Republic. The film, set in a small town in present-day Bulgaria, centers on a mother and her two daughters, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content