Stallone to Play Greg "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa

Scarpa in his strong days as arch enforcer and
"special agent" for the Feds.
Deadline Hollywood is reporting that a film about Colombo capo/lifelong informant Gregory "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa is slated to start filming early next year.

Brad Furman will direct and Sylvester Stallone will play the lead role; it will be a Millennium Films production.
Stallone could probably play a decent street
guy. But can he play a decent Greg Scarpa?

The script was written by Nicholas Pileggi, who wrote the book and screenplay for the acclaimed mobster film Goodfellas, which was nominated for an Oscar. Pileggi also was the wordsmith for Casino, which won many kudos from critics but not much else. (I agree with many others: Pileggi was robbed -- he also should have been nominated for Casino, which he adapted from his own book.)

Both those films further benefitted from the immortal direction of Martin Scorsese, who is not involved with the Scarpa film, however.

According to Deadline: The "high-profile project [is] currently being pulled together and one they hope to put before the cameras next year, possibly in the first quarter."

The film will be produced by Irwin Winkler (of Rocky fame).

Stallone is taking on the role of one of the most amazing, lethal and unique mobsters ever to be inducted into one of the Five Families.

Scarpa was a lifelong member of the Colombo crime family. Some of the highlights of his career: he boasted of committing 50 murders — and was the leading enforcer for boss Carmine Persico, who was in prison when acting boss Vic Orena got ideas about making his position formal in the early 1990s. Scarpa also was an informant for the FBI since before 1960 and went on "missions" for the FBI. He made two trips to the South, one of which was to assist the bureau in the Mississippi Burning case; as confirmed by his FBI handler, Lin DeVecchio in his ironically titled memoir, "We're Going to Win This Thing." Scarpa put a gun in the mouth of one of the members of the KKK in order to find out where three civil rights workers' bodies were buried. (I can see one big potential media problem for DeVecchio if he serves as "technical advisor" to the film; many still wonder about some charges levelled against him that were dismissed mid trial, before a verdict could be reached.)

He died in 1994 from AIDS-related complications in a Minnesota prison following one final gunfight in which Scarpa's eye was blown out. He promptly drove home and procured a shot of Scotch, which either went down his throat or his shattered eyehole. Then, his right hand man Larry Mazza drove Scarpa to the hospital.

As for Stallone, he recently co-starred in the hit The Expendables. (We won't even mention the Mafia comedy film he made a couple decades ago!)

According to Deadline, The Expendables was "the Millennium/NuImage project which he had a solo credit for before it came under quite a bit of scrutiny during a lawsuit that questioned the script’s origin; subsequently the WGA ruled that Stallone had to share credit with David Callaham and now it’s escalated into the courts and moving its way through the legal system. The courts dismissed another suit involving screenwriter Marcus Webb who accused Stallone and Millennium of the same thing."

"The actor last starred opposite Robert De Niro (who many probably think should've been cast in the Scarpa role) in Warner Bros’ Grudge Match and just finished Reach Me for Millennium and filmmaker John Herzfeld. Stallone, Pileggi and Furman are repped by WME."

I, for one, hope this film is made. I think filmmakers, whether studio or independent, have barely skimmed the surface in terms of producing realistic films about the New York Mafia.

We had Rob the Mob, which was okay (I saw it, will write a review eventually, when I feel compelled to) but not at all factual; of course, they couldn't resist making the two into anti-heroes, referring to them as Bonnie and Clyde, not Jerry Capeci's better and more accurate descriptor: a dumb Bonnie and Clyde. Andy Garcia, as the mob boss, is so deeply immersed in his character (he wears a bushy beard, which no mob boss would ever wear) he is barely recognizable. He also seasoned his voice to have a terribly off New York accent.

But then he probably didn't want to be recognized; he bombed terribly in a previous mob film that you may have heard of: Godfather III, a film that is not bad -- and that's the problem, it should be better than "not bad." Many believe the reason was Garcia (the fact that Francis Ford Coppola snipped Michael Corleone's balls off didn't help, either).

So many Mafia films have been announced and then not made that I really wonder if Scarpa will reach the screen. Howard Blum's crappy Gangland would've made a great film: the story of John Gotti and Sammy the Bull Gravano. Still can't believe that story was only told for television -- two flicks, one from each POV, Gotti and Gravano. Maybe one day Hollywood will find the middle ground and create a compelling film there.

Then we have "The Irishman," a film that De Niro himself confirmed, announcing to the media in March of 2011 that he was going to play the character of Frank Sheeran in what was to have been another Scorsese film based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses. The film is listed as still in development, three years later.

Sheeran, who had been James R. Hoffa's right hand man, claimed in his biography shortly before he died that he'd also been a mafia contract killer known as "The Irishman." But he was not your run-of-the-mill contract killer; rather, he claimed he was the one who got the order to hit Hoffa. An article on the U.K.'s Daily Mail Online has some interesting details to the story.

Sheeran claimed he had no choice: it was either kill on command or die for disobedience. His daughter, however, who believed he was responsible for perhaps the most famous hit in American history, claimed another reason for Sheeran's confession: Catholic guilt.

Of course not everyone believes Sheeran, who also claimed to have whacked Joey "Crazy Joey" Gallo, but the film likely would be great. In addition to De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino also were slated to star in the film; it would've been an ensemble cast comprised of the most respected actors ever to have portrayed brutal mobsters. In addition, Steve Zaillian, the acclaimed screenwriter who wrote the screenplay for Gangs of New York, penned the script for "The Irishman" as well.

Joe Pesci and Al Pacino also were to star together in another mob film: Also announced in 2011, "Gotti: Three Generations" was supposed to have reunited director Barry Levinson with "Bugsy" screenwriter James Toback. The film also was to feature big-screen luminaries as John Travolta playing the role of John Gotti. Pacino reportedly signed on to play Gotti mentor Aniello "Neil" Dellacroce, according to ScreenRant and other published sources.

Producer Marc Flore boasted the Gotti flick was poised to be "the new ‘Godfather,” the article noted.

Then, in July of 2011, Pesci sued Fiore Films, the production company behind the film about former Gambino boss John Gotti​ and his son, which by then had been retitled "Gotti: In The Shadow Of My Father." Pesci accused the producers of reneging on a contract after he gained 30 pounds to play the notorious crime boss's right-hand man, Angelo Ruggiero, according to Entertainment & Stars.

Pesci was promised $3 million for playing this part. But Fiore Films later told the actor that he would be playing the lesser role of Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso instead and would receive only $1 million, according to the lawsuit. Love the only part.

Hey Joe Pesci: Gaspipe was a more interesting character than Quack-Quack, and hey, a million bucks is still a million bucks for Chrissakes!


  1. Remember what phil leonetti said "that ny chooses the boss" I don't think the ny bosses will approve of Georgie. I'm surprised the source is saying that skinny joey is involved saying "stop it". Isn't he fully retired from that mafia lifestyle?

  2. I was going to say the same thing as Ronen. Skinny joey is out, and New York will decide who runs things......I am personally surprised the Genovese crew hasnt just taken over Philly.

    Who's bigger these days, Philly Family or the Decalvacante Family? Anyone know??

  3. Philly family.... I think the Lucheses might have tried to move in using Scarpo Jr to win over his father's loyalists. He's going away big time, but who knows, maybe the Lucheses will move in. They have been out of the limelight for some time as the Feds pounded the Bonannos, Colombos and Gambinos... Then you have the Genovese family, which was probably responsible for the whacking of Bruno in the first place...

  4. SKINNY JOEY STILL CALLS THE SHOTS BUT BEING IN FLA HOW MUCH LONGER CAN THAT CONTINUE WITH BOY GEORGE AND SCARFI SRS GUYS OUT LURKING IN THE SHADOWS . I DONT KNOW IF NY MAFIOSO WANT TO TRY TO TAKE PHILLY REMEMBER JOEY MADE HIMSELF BOSS AFTER STANFA WAR AND SCARFO SR WANTED SKINNY JOEY DEAD WHEN JOEYS DAD SAL HAD A FALLEN OUT WITH SCARFO SR I CAN TELL U THIS MUCH NO BODY FROM NY COMING TO PHILLY TO TAKE OVER UNLESD THERE READY TO GET DIRTY WHILE JOEYS RUNNING THINGS THATS NOT GONNA HAPPEN . THESE FACTIONS WILL STIVK TOGETHER FIRST BEFORE THEY LET THAT HAPPEN. THEN THEY.LL FIGHT FOR WHATS LEFT NY MY FRIENDS ARE BETTER OFF STAYING ACROSS THE BRIDGE THESE GUYS GOT NO PROBLEM GOING TO WAR IN THERE OWN NEIFHBORHOOD AND DO THE FAMILIES NEED PHILLYS PROBLEMS THEY.LL WAIT TO THE DUST CLEARS LIKE THEY HAVE BEEN DOING DEAL WITH WHO.S LEFT. These guys feel its there birth right to be in this thing especialy if there fathers uncles or grand parents were thats the mentality here like alite said theres a gangstet on every corner in NY he told casasanto here these guys go to school eat dinner at each other houses as kids and form some type of bond it my bend and swell at times but this little group hasnt been convicted of any murders amonngst Joeys select few and that might be tested with Nicidemo but till then NY stay on the other side of the bridge because these guys will die first before they let any outsiders take ovet.

  5. he.s not retired and thats been confirmed
    And Georgie been going around that he was in charged since his uncle Joe said he was retiring he.s been told go earn put a sock in it and build ur bussiness back up not looking good for Boy george. I know NY would want to approve thete own boss
    pretty sure Joey corrected that while he was in the joint Uncle Joe was acting boss before he went to jail and Now STEVIE MAZZONE AND JOHNNY CHANG ARE RUNNING THINGS FOR JOEY now .NOT SURE WHO.S CONSIGLIERE MAY BE GEORGIE BUT HE.S BEEN BURNING BRIDGES SINCE HE.S BEEN OUT .
    Gonna be a interesting 2 yrs for the MOBSTERS OF BROTHERLY LOVE. ISNT THAT WHY WE FOLLOW THIS STUFF.

  6. Ur right there was a move against Uncle Joe and his crew when nicky jr was on the move living down the shore area but that was short lived not sure what yr though.

  7. Decavalcante and by a large number of men.

  8. I just wrote about the DeCavalcantes -- did a lot of research and I can't find anything that would indicate they're larger than Philly. I'm curious what is your source there, Funzi?


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