T. J. English's best-selling book, Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost It to the Revolution
went over like a lead balloon in certain corners of El Exilio
. The book paints Fulgencio Batista as a corrupt leader all too willing to play ball -- and take kickbacks -- from powerful mobsters, most notably Meyer Lansky. By the time Fidel Castro and his rebels marched into town, the mobsters were practically asking for it.
The Hollywood Reporter says
a movie adaption is in its early stage, with three producers onboard: Eric Eisner, Gil Adler, and Shane McCarthy.
"We really want to show Havana and Cuba as a character at a time that it's booming," Eisner said. "This is about mobsters who don't only control a few businesses but try to control an entire country, and the tension that results when their plans go awry."
The movie, Eisner said, will use politics as a backdrop but will be less politically explicit than, say, the Sydney Pollack-Robert Redford collaboration Havana.
The producers also tell THR they might be open to filming in Cuba but aren't sure how hard to push for it.
Matt Cirulnick has signed on to pen the script. He's best "known" as the creator of the ill-fated Jennifer Lopez-produced series South Beach -- so we're not exactly talking A-list talent. Adler previously worked on Superman Returns, but the rest of his resumé is full of bombs such as Valkyrie, Constantine, and the Starsky & Hutch remake. Eisner has produced Hamlet 2 and, um, Jake's Booty Call.
The flick doesn't appear to be set up with any particular studio, and no stars are onboard yet. So the project has a long way to go before it hits your local cinema.