Oliver Stone has signed on to produce and direct The Power Broker for HBO, based on the 1974 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Robert Caro. The book tells the story of Robert Moses, the man who designed New York: “At one time was dubbed the city’s ‘master builder,’ [Moses] was among the most powerful men in 20th century urban planning and politics, having influenced New York’s infrastructure as much as any other individual.” Nicholas Meyer will adapt the screenplay; THR lists James Gandolfini, Nancy Sanders, Mark Armstrong, and Peter Gruber as fellow producers. Gandolfini now has a number of projects in development at his former Sopranos home, including Taxi 0-22, Eating with the Enemy, and Big Dead Place.
I’ll confess that I learned Moses’ name tonight, but he sounds like a fascinating subject. Stone has struggled in the last decade to earn the critical acclaim that marked the first half of his career. But if inspired, the director is surely at home in the tale of a man of great power. Stone’s next feature, Savages, opens on September 28, 2012. Read the synopsis for Caro’s The Power Broker after the jump.
The Power Broker tells the hidden story behind the shaping (and mis-shaping) of twentieth-century New York (city and state) and makes public what few have known: that Robert Moses was, for almost half a century, the single most powerful man of our time in New York, the shaper not only of the city’s politics but of its physical structure and the problems of urban decline that plague us today.
In revealing how Moses did it–how he developed his public authorities into a political machine that was virtually a fourth branch of government, one that could bring to their knees Governors and Mayors (from La Guardia to Lindsay) by mobilizing banks, contractors, labor unions, insurance firms, even the press and the Church, into an irresistible economic force–Robert Caro reveals how power works in all the cities of the United States. Moses built an empire and lived like an emperor. He personally conceived and completed public works costing 27 billion dollars–the greatest builder America (and probably the world) has ever known. Without ever having been elected to office, he dominated the men who were–even his most bitter enemy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, could not control him–until he finally encountered, in Nelson Rockefeller, the only man whose power (and ruthlessness in wielding it) equalled his own. [Amazon]