While gangster film fans are waiting for the John Gotti biopic film to be made with John Travolta, Sylvester Stallone will hit the big screen portraying another NY based late mobster known as “The Grim Reaper,” Gregory Scarpa Jr. After a successful run with his Expendables franchise, Sylvester Stallone will appear in a gangster film called Scarpa based on the life of the late mobster Gregory Scarpa Sr.
Scarpa which is due for a 2015 release has some talented names attached to it. The films’ script is written by author Nicholas Pileggi, produced by Avi Lerner of Millennium Films as well as Irwin Winkler and directed by Brad Furman. Nicholas Pileggi is best known for his hit films Casino, Goodfellas, City Hall and Vegas. Irwin Winkler produced such classic films such as Rocky, Raging Bull, The Wolf of Wall Street and the classic gangster film Goodfellas. Brad Furman had a successful film with Matthew McConaughey in The Lincoln Lawyer.
Scarpa is a biopic of former Brooklyn born Colombo capo and enforcer Gregory Scarpa Sr., who was known as “The Grim Reaper,” and the “Mad Hatter.” During the 70’s and 80’s Scarpa was an enforcer for the Colombo crime family under the direction of feared mob boss Carmine “The Snake” Persico. Scarpa allegedly ran a host of illegal activities from his social club known as the Wimp Boys Social Club. Life changed for Scarpa in 1962 when he was arrested for armed robbery. To avoid a lengthy prison sentence, Scarpa decided to begin working as an undercover informant for the FBI. Scarpa’s work as an FBI informant lasted for over twenty years and led to an unethical relationship with FBI agent Lindley DeVecchio.
Stallone is not a stranger to gangster films. In 2000, Stallone portrayed a Las Vegas mob enforcer in the remake of the film Get Carter. Some other films with a crime element that Stallone appeared in are Oscar, Stop! Or My Mom will Shoot, Bullet to the Head, Avenging Angelo, Copland, and the Lord’s of Flatbush and Escape Plan.
Some fans would have loved to see Martin Scorsese joining forces with Pileggi for Scarpa, but it will be interesting to see how Brad Furman and the crew do with this mob true story. The film’s shooting location is listed as Bulgaria. It would be nice to see at least some of the film using real New York City locations. Other than Stallone starring as Gregory Scarpa Sr., a full cast list has not been released as of yet for this film.