Get ready for a blockbuster mob movie! The film rights to T.J. English’s upcoming book The Corporation, about the Cuban mob in America, have been sold to Paramount and Appian Way. Academy Award-winning actor Benicio Del Toro is set to star.
“The story of the Cuban mob in the U.S. really is one of the great unwritten organized crime stories,” author T.J. English tells Gangsters Inc. in an exclusive. “It has the advantage of being very dramatic and entertaining, but it also encompasses an important aspect of American history - the anti-Castro movement in the U.S.; CIA manipulation of the criminal underworld - that has been buried under decades of Cold War skullduggery. People will be amazed that they never knew some of these details.”
English’s book The Corporation is slated for release in 2017 by HarpersCollins’ William Morrow and will take readers on a journey from the 1950s to the 1980s as it details the rise of Cuban mob boss Jose Miguel Battle Sr.
Battle was recruited by the CIA to fight in the Bay of Pigs invasion, where he was captured and imprisoned in a Cuban prison for nearly two years. When he was released, he went back to the United States and began building a criminal empire that dabbled in gambling, drug trafficking and murder and stretched from Miami to New York.
Actor Benicio Del Toro will play the lead role of godfather Jose Miguel Battle Sr. Which makes author T.J. English very happy. “Del Toro is perfect casting,” English tells us. “That is part of what makes the prospect of a film so exciting.”
Once filming starts, English will remain attached to the project. “I will be an Executive Producer on the movie, so I hope to be involved in many of the crucial decisions. It's an amazing story that doesn't need a lot of ‘fictionalizing,’ so part of my responsibility will be to make sure the movie adheres to an honest version of the facts.”
This week a bidding war erupted between several film studios interested in turning the yet-to-be-released book into a motion picture. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “David Matthews, a staff writer on Vinyl, will adapt. Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson are producing along with Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman of The Picture Company.”
Asked by Gangsters Inc. how he feels about this huge news, T.J. English remains down to earth. “I can't really answer this question because it hasn't happened yet. Despite the headlines, we have a long way to go before that becomes a reality. First, I have to write the book. And as always, that will involve a tremendous amount of work.”
With true crime classics such as Born To Kill, The Westies, and Paddy Whacked on his resume we have all the faith in the world T.J. English will not just finish his book, but add another classic hit to his impressive hit list, pun intended.
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