Director Michael Mann (Heat) has hired Sheldon Turner, the screenwriter partly responsible for Clooney comedy Up In The Air, to write his new crime thriller, Big Tuna. The movie will be a biopic of Chicago crime lord Tony Accardo, and his young protege Sam Giancana, who eventually replaced him. For Michael Mann, this will be his second attempt at a gangster biopic, the first being the disappointing Public Enemies last year, which starred Johnny Depp as notorious bank robber, John Dillinger. Variety reports that Mann’s chosen scribe, Sheldon Turner, is a wanted man himself at the minute, attached to numerous high profile projects including his directorial debut, By Virtue Fall, starring Colin Farrell and Eric Bana, and as producer for rom-com, Kiss and Tell. Hit the jump for more on Big Tuna and both men involved.
Mann says the film will detail the life of “an older man who was the undisputed boss at a time when the Chicago outfit was the most powerful crime element in America. It becomes a classic tragedy of megalomania and hubris.”
Mann evidently has a lot of faith in Turner’s writing finesse as without backing of a studio yet, he’s funding the screenwriter’s seven figure fee for Big Tuna from his own development fund. Sheldon Turner is exceptionally busy with responsibilities across the board; directing, writing and producing for various studios. In addition to the titles mentioned above, he’s working on Man Camp, Path’s of Glory, Orbit and Two Minutes to Midnight.
The fact Big Tuna is in the pipeline doesn’t necessarily mean it will be Michael Mann’s next film. As far as we know, Mann is still helming Agincourt, a movie based on the 15th Century epic battle of Agincourt between England and France, and also intends to continue with yet another biopic, this time detailing the life of WWII photographer Robert Capa. His success with this type of movie in the past hasn’t been overwhelming (think Ali), but practice makes perfect I suppose. Plus, he’s had some time out of film working with HBO on their upcoming horse racing series Luck which should air in September next year, so fingers crossed we can expect a return to form.