First Look: Final James Gandolfini Film ‘The Drop’

final James Gandolfini film

Here are the first images from the final James Gandolfini film, The Drop. Once called Animal Rescue, the tense Brooklyn-set drama also features Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Matthias Schoenaerts, under the direction of Bullhead helmer Michael Roskam. Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone) scripted the crime drama, which features Gandolfini as a former criminal whose cousin, played by Tom Hardy, is trying to go straight and having a pretty bad time doing so.

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James Mangold Deep Blue Good-By

Travis McGee is one of the many crime fiction heroes that stars in his own series of books. McGee’s basic approach to life is simple: he works only when he needs money, and then he takes jobs helping people recover stuff that has been taken from them. His fee is simple, too: he keeps half.

McGee is at the center of twenty-one books by John D. MacDonald, starting with the 1964 novel The Deep Blue Good-By and going through The Lonely Silver Rain in 1984. There have been a couple film and TV versions of the character in the past, and several efforts to film McGee’s novels have come and gone without coming to fruition.

Among them, a Deep Blue Good-By movie has been in development for years. Now James Mangold has come on board to push those efforts forward. Mangold will direct The Deep Blue Good-By, with an actor yet to be cast in the lead role. Read More »

A Prophet (Un Prophete)

After making his name on crime dramas set in his native Boston, Dennis Lehane is getting his next bit of inspiration from outside the country. The Shutter Island author has been tapped to write Sony’s English-language remake of A Prophet (a.k.a. Un prophète), Jacques Audiard‘s acclaimed French crime drama. More details on the upcoming film after the jump.

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Argo set photo - Ben Affleck

It’s been six months since we heard that Ben Affleck‘s follow-up to Argo would likely mark the filmmaker’s return to Boston, as he targeted Dennis Lehane‘s novel Live By Night. Now there’s an actual timetable for the film that Affleck will write, direct, and star in. Appian Way will produce with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s company Pearl Street. It’s Affleck’s second turn with Lehane, who also wrote the book that became Affleck’s directorial debut Gone Baby Gone.

Deadline reports that pre-production starts today. While Affleck is the only cast member at this point, things will likely pick up steam in a month or two as the film jogs towards a production start in August or September. The novel follows a police captains son, who becomes deeply involved in organized crime. The trick is that it’s a period piece, with the novel kicking off in the mid-’20s, and traveling eventually from Boston to Florida and Cuba.

Read a long synopsis of the book below. Read More »

With Gone Baby Gone, The Town and now the Oscar-nominated Argo, Ben Affleck the director has set a high bar for his career behind the camera. That means choosing a next project is crucial and several have crossed Affleck’s desk since Argo was released. It seems he’s now put them in order.

The actor was to star alongside Kristen Stewart in the film Focus, but recently pulled out of that film so he could commit all his time to preparing Live By Night as his next directorial project. The film, based a novel by Dennis Lehane, is about a young man during the Prohibition who falls deep into the world of organized crime. Affleck is writing, producing, will direct and star.

See Affleck’s reasoning for leaving Focus and focusing on Live By Night below.
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Author Dennis Lehane may not be a household name along the lines of John Grisham or Stephen King, but Hollywood’s found plenty to love in his novels as well. Adaptations of his books are three for thre when it comes to critical and commercial success — Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone, and Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island were all based on his tales — so there’s reason to get excited when news breaks of another of Lehane’s works making it to the big screen.

The next of these could be Animal Rescue, which has just tapped Limitless helmer Neil Burger to direct. The crime drama adapts short story of Lehane’s that was published in the (Lehane-edited) anthology Boston Noir. More details after the jump.

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When you’re an actor as popular and talented as Leonardo DiCaprio, I imagine your office looks like a scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The difference being, instead of delicious sweets, all the treats are the best scripts and properties in Hollywood and you can just pick and choose whatever you want. Work with Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Clint Eastwood, Baz Luhrman and Quentin Tarantino all in succession and then have a bevy of high-end projects to choose from next such as The Wolf of Wall Street (which he’ll shoot in August), The Devil in the White City and Satori, just to name a few. Not to mention he runs the company that’s developing Akira, The Twilight Zone and more.

One more property can now be added to the Leo list and, like the others, it comes with a staggering pedagree. Warner Bros. has acquried the rights to author Dennis Lehane‘s next novel, Live By Night, to star DiCaprio and be produced by his Appian Way Productions. Lehane is the author behind Oscar bait like Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island. Read more about the property below. Read More »

Bestselling author Dennis Lehane Becomes a Screenwriter

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Dennis Lehane is an author known for his Boston-based mystery novels, three of which have already been adapted to the big screen. Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River was award-nominated but underrated, Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone was one of the best movies of 2008, and Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island hits theaters next week (I saw it at Butnumathon and very much enjoyed it, but not as much as the other two film adaptations). Fox 2000 has acquired the rights to one of Lehane’s short films, and have hired the mystery novelist to pen the screenplay adaptation. The story, which is titled Animal Rescue, is not the Marly and Me-like popcorn tale you might be expecting from the title.

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