According to The Boston Herald the creative troika behind The Departed — director Martin Scorsese, screenwriter William Monahan, and producer Graham King – may be reteaming for a fact-based Beantown gangster movie.
Earlier this month it was reported that King’s GK Films had snagged the life rights of Boston underworld hitman John Martorano. Martorano was an enforcer and assassin for James “Whitey” Bulger, the South Boston crimelord and FBI informant who served as the basis for Jack Nicholson’s kingpin in The Departed. Martorano, who served 14 years in prison for killing 20 people, became a witness for the government and helped expose the corrupt relationship between Bulger and the FBI. Bulger’s FBI handler is now in prison, while the ex-mob boss has been a fugitive since 1995.
Now The Boston Herald claims that “Scorsese met secretly with the Winter Hill Gang hitman at an Italian restaurant in the Back Bay while The Departed director was in town making Shutter Island.
Scorsese had his longtime collaborator, producer Graham King, lock down the rights to Martorano’s life story. It is also likely that William Monahan, who wrote the screenplay for The Departed, which Scorsese directed and King produced, will write the Martorano script.”
Word of a Martorano biopic has caused a furor in Boston, with many — including cops and his victims’ families — condemning the very thought of turning the executioner’s life story into a piece of entertainment.