The Chicago Syndicate: Giancana to Hit the Big Screen

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Giancana to Hit the Big Screen

Friends of ours: Sam "Momo" Giancana

Sam Giancana, a mobster popular among conspiracy theorists for his connections to notables such as John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, will soon be shooting up the big screen.

Infomercial producer Mark Williams has acquired the film rights to the novel "Double Cross," which tells the story of how the gangster rose from being a hit man for Al Capone to becoming a powerful don.

Giancana, who was nicknamed "Momo" because of his unpredictable vicious behavior, was assassinated in 1975 before he was to appear before a Senate committee investigating CIA and Mafia links to plots to kill Fidel Castro.

The 1992 book -- written by Giancana's brother, Chuck Giancana, and his nephew, Sam Giancana -- stated that he ordered the deaths of Kennedy and Monroe.

It will be adapted for the screen by Edgar Allan Poe Award winner Alfonse Ruggiero Jr., an editor-turned-writer who established himself in the crime field with credits such as "Miami Vice," "Wiseguy," "Crime & Punishment" and the 1990s television version of "The Untouchables."

When the adaptation is made, it wouldn't be the first time Giancana is portrayed onscreen. He has been the subject of several screen biographies, including one in which he was played by Tony Curtis. Rod Steiger played him in the "Sinatra" miniseries. Producer Mark Wolper at one point was trying to get a Giancana miniseries off the ground for TNT.

Williams, who first developed an interest in the mob when growing up in Chicago and knowing people who had links to the organization, made his name in the infomercial industry, becoming one of its top producers. Among his numerous credits are "How to be Successful in America Today" and "The Donald Trump Way to Wealth."

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