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What a day for gangster pictures. Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling might join a Bugsy Siegel and Mickey Cohen biopic, John Travolta is officially on board for Gotti: Three Generations, and now there’s talk Harry Potter director David Yates could pick an Al Capone project as his next feature.
According to Deadline, no formal talks have happened between Yates and Warner Brothers, but the notion is nonetheless very intriguing. The project is called Cicero, and it’s essentially a chronicle of the gangster’s younger years.
Whenever you’re dealing with mafia projects, the timeline is always the most important wrinkle. The older the subject matter, the more likely the made man is to be well known and relatively open. In contrast, the newer films are almost always clouded in webs of secrecy. Back in the day, when the mafia was mostly quiet and fighting amongst itself, the police typically didn’t see the mob as such a serious problem. Once random people started getting caught in the crosshairs, the whole operation was forced underground. John Gotti aside, most of the newer gangsters just don't have the same eye for showmanship. Maybe that's why so many directors turn back to the classics.
David Yates is mostly known to American audiences as the Harry Potter guy, but he has a long history of intriguing television work. His four part miniseries State Of Play went over very well, as did his BAFTA winning drama The Way We Live Now. I can’t wait to see him try something new. If it ends up being about Al Capone, all the better.