Director David O. Russell Confirmed to Helm a Buddy Cianci Biopic
After stepping away from the video game adaptation of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, director David O. Russell has spent his time with an adaptation of The Silver Linings Playbook with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, and he just recently has been reported to direct American Bullshit, the true story of Abscam, the FBI's 1980 undercover sting operation of Congress to root out corruption which was the brainchild of the world's greatest con man. Now yet another project has been confirmed for the filmmaker's future as 24 Frames reports he's officially involved in a biopic about Rhode Island mayor Buddy Cianci.
We heard that Russell was circling the project over a year ago when Tribeca Film Festival co-founder and producer Jane Rosenthal (Meet the Parents) had started talking about the project. She said, "Going back almost twelve years now, I've wanted to see Buddy's story as a movie." She even talked about including parts of the then-new book Politics and Pasta: How I Prosecuted Mobsters, Rebuilt a Dying City, Dined with Sinatra, Spent Five Years in a Federally Funded Gated Community, and Lived to Tell the Tale. The book focuses the former Providence mayor's days prosecuting mobsters, reviving a dying city, and going to prison for five years on racketeering charges, but Rosenthal said the film would focus on "Cianci's unique politics."
Now with Russell officially involved, the project is likely to get moving quickly, though it's not clear if he'll take this or American Bullshit to follow The Silver Linings Playbook. Rosenthal says she's close to securing financing, so that will likely determine how quickly this film gets off the ground. It certainly sounds like an interesting character study as he ended up being convicted for his crimes, but still served as mayor of Providence twice, from 1975 to 1984 and again from 1991 to 2002. Rosenthal says, "What's so fascinating about Buddy is if you look at those years in Providence when he propelled a renaissance, if you forget about the process for a minute, it's a certain type of politics. His heart's in the right place." So who has the chops to bring this real-life person, but apparently larger-than-life character to the big screen?