According to Variety, a new biopic of notorious gangster Lucky Luciano will focus on the mobster's espionage achievements during WWII. Bond writer Paul Haggis's Crash partner Bobby Moresco is penning the feature, which will race another Luciano biopic (written by Joe Cortese) into production. Says the trade, "A big part of both stories is how the government put Luciano away on a 30-year stretch for pimping and pandering and then leveraged his cooperation in America's WWII efforts with the promise of a pardon. Moresco said that Luciano used his mob clout on the New York docks to root out spies whose reports of ship movement to Nazi U-boats led to the sinking of more than 250 ships. Luciano also arranged for safe passage when troops landed in Sicily."
While serving in British Naval Intelligence, Ian Fleming got wind of Luciano's work for the Americans, and became fascinated by the man. He later talked his friend Raymond Chandler into interviewing Luciano (then "retired" in Naples) for the Sunday Times, and eventually tried himself. But the wily old mob boss proved himself a match for both writers; neither man could get him to open up about his racketeering or his spying.
Like Fleming, I've always found Lucky Luciano to be a fascinating figure. He's turned up in previous mob movies - like Bugsy and Mobsters - and served as the model for a Godfather character, but to date no film that I know of has focused on his exciting wartime activities.