David O. Russell Confirmed To Direct Buddy Cianci Biopic

It’s hard to spend a lot of time in Rhode Island or the greater New England area without hearing the story of Buddy Cianci Jr. One of the most famous/infamous people in the area’s modern history, the former Providence mayor who spent a great deal of his career trying to root out corruption in his home town… but was twice forced to leave office due to felony charges (yes, twice. He was, at one point, reelected and then forced out again). The fact of the matter is that you can’t title your autobiography, “Politics and Pasta: How I Prosecuted Mobsters, Rebuilt a Dying City, Advised a President, Dined With Sinatra, Spent Five Years in a Federally Funded Gated Community and Lived to Tell the Tale” without having a few stories to tell. And now David O. Russell has been hired to tell those stories.

According to the LA Times, the Academy Award-nominated has been brought on to helm a biopic about Buddy Cianci that will be based on the mayor’s book. It should be noted that while Russell is on-board to direct, he will not write the script – though he will have a hand in it (the article doesn’t mention who will be handling screenwriting duties. The filmmaker is currently in post-production on The Silver Linings Playbook, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, which is due out on November 21st. De Niro, along with partner Jane Rosenthal, will also be producing the Cianci biopic.

As interesting as this project sounds, don’t get your hopes up too high on seeing it anytime soon. The director has established a streak of taking on projects and then dropping them months later (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Uncharted are recent examples). Hopefully he will commit himself to this one, however. Cianci is a great character and under Russell’s direction the movie could be a winner.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.