Richard Dreyfuss (Mr. Hollandís Opus) will star as Meyer Lansky in HBO Pictures LANSKY, it was announced today by John Matoian, president, HBO Pictures and HBO NYC Productions. Directed by John McNaughton (Wild Things, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), the film begins production Aug. 19 in and around Los Angeles.
Fred Zollo and Nick Paleologos (Ghosts of Mississippi, HBOís In the Gloaming) are executive producers. Fred Caruso (Casualties of War, Blue Velvet) is producer. The script is by David Mamet (Wag the Dog, The Spanish Prisoner). Ellen Collett is the HBO executive in charge of the project.LANSKY brings together a wonderful combination of talents, said Matoian. We have an incredible script from David Mamet, one of the preeminent writers of our times; the acting talents of Oscar(TM) winner Richard Dreyfuss; director John McNaughton, whoís known for his edgy and thought-provoking movies; and the highly respected producing team of Fred Zollo and Nick Paleologos, who were so successful with ëIn the Gloamingí for HBO last year.
LANSKY is based on the true story of Meyer Lansky, a young Jewish immigrant who grew up on the streets of New York at the turn of the century and embarked on a life of crime. Graduating from gambling to theft to murder, Lansky partnered with childhood friend Ben Bugsy Siegel and earned notoriety that eventually made him the object of FBI pursuit, as well as congressional hearings.
Comments Zollo, I am ecstatic to be working again with John McNaughton, Richard Dreyfuss, David Mamet and HBO on what we all consider to be one of Davidís most brilliant and epic scripts.
Richard Dreyfuss has appeared in more than 40 films, receiving the Academy Award(TM) for Best Actor for 1977ís The Goodbye Girl and another Best Actor Academy Award(TM) nomination for 1995ís Mr. Hollandís Opus. His other films include American Graffiti, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Tin Men, Silent Fall, What About Bob?, Moon Over Parador and Whose Life Is It Anyway? Dreyfuss has also worked behind the scenes, serving as executive producer of the film Quiz Show. His TV credits include Oliver Twist and HBO Picturesí Prisoner of Honor. Dreyfuss has also appeared in U.S. and British stage productions and co-authored a novel, The Two Georges. He will soon be seen in the movie A Fine and Private Place.
John McNaughtonís directorial debut, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, which he also wrote and produced, attracted widespread critical acclaim and made him a sought-after director. His subsequent films include Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, Normal Life, The Borrower, Mad Dog and Glory and the recent Wild Things. McNaughton has also directed episodes of the TV series Homicide: Life on the Street.
Writer David Mamet was first known for such critically acclaimed plays as Glengarry Glen Ross, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, American Buffalo and Speed-The-Plow, and has gone on to an equally distinguished film career. In addition to writing and directing the recent The Spanish Prisoner, as well as Oleanna, Things Change and House of Games, his writing credits include Wag the Dog, The Edge, Hoffa, The Verdict and The Untouchables, plus the screen version of Glengarry Glen Ross. Mamet returned to Broadway with his most recent theatrical production, The Old Neighborhood.
Fred Zollo executive produced HBOís In the Gloaming with Nick Paleologos, and has produced such acclaimed films as Ghosts of Mississippi, and the multiple Oscar(TM) nominees Mississippi Burning (Best Picture nomination, 1988) and Quiz Show (Best Picture nomination, 1994), as well as The Paper, Naked in New York, John McNaughtonís Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, Miles from Home, The Music of Chance and, most recently, Hurlyburly with Sean Penn. His stage credits include such productions as íNight, Mother, On Golden Pond, Hurlyburly, Talk Radio (which he also directed), Ma Raineyís Black Bottom, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Death and the Maiden (with Richard Dreyfuss), Angels in America: Millennium Approached, Angels in America: Perestroika and several plays by David Mamet, including Oleanna, Glengarry Glen Ross and The Cryptogram.Fred Caruso has produced such films as Steal Big, Steal Little, Surviving the Game, Blue Velvet and the upcoming HBO film The Rat Pack. His co-producer credits include Casualties of War, Network, The Presidio and The Bonfire of the Vanities. Caruso also served as executive producer on Once Upon a Time in America and was production manager on The Godfather.
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