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George Gallo To Direct Thriller ‘The Accidental Gangster’ With ‘Green Book’s Nick Vallelonga Producing

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EXCLUSIVE: George Gallo (The Comeback Trail) is teaming with Green Book Oscar winner Nick Vallelonga to produce The Accidental Gangster, a new thriller based on reformed gangster Orlando ‘Ori’ Spado’s bestselling autobiography of the same name. The former will also direct from a script by the author’s son Anthony Spado and David Steenhoek.

Prior to leaving the mob, Ori Spado was an associate of NYC Colombo Crime Family underboss Sonny Franzese, as well as Los Angeles Family underboss Jimmy Caci, and Joey Pyle, who led the London-based criminal organization known as The Firm. He worked as a fixer in both Hollywood and New York and went on to pull off numerous jobs and heists during his time with the mafia, after working for a time as an insurance salesman. In 1997, one particular FBI Agent told Spado, “I will see the day you are chained, shackled and put on Con Air and brought to Brooklyn” — and 11 years later, in 2008, he made it happen.

Spado served five years on a RICO conviction in both New York and California and later developed a following interested in his time with La Cosa Nostra via podcasts and in-person appearances, coming to net millions of views on YouTube. He’s at the same time looked to help young people stay out of a life of crime. 

The Accidental Gangster will be a co-production of Vallelonga Productions, Aspado Productions and Mediator Films, with Ori and Anthony Spado producing alongside Steenhoek, Gallo and Vallelonga. It’s just the latest project to team Gallo with Vallelonga, with another recently announced being Betrayal: John Gotti and the Fall of La Cosa Notra, a series that the pair are developing with Bobby Moresco and John Gotti Jr. The duo are also currently at work on Gambino — a film about mafia boss Carlo Gambino which Gallo will direct from his and Vallelonga’s script, with Julius Nasso (Narc, The Patriot) producing.

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“This story fascinated me the first time I heard it. And once I read his book I was in,” said Gallo. “It’s not your typical gangster story.”  

Gallo developed the story inspiring the Bad Boys films, more recently writing and directing the Lionsgate action-thriller Vanquish with Morgan Freeman and Ruby Rose and the comedy The Comeback Trail, starring Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones and Freeman. The filmmaker has also penned such features as Wise Guys, Midnight Run, The Whole Ten Yards and Code Name: The Cleaner. Also coming up for him is the film Muti with Freeman and Cole Hauser, which is in post-production.

Vallelonga won two Oscars (including Best Picture) as the co-writer and producer of the 2018 Universal drama Green Book, examining his father Tony Lip’s (Viggo Mortensen) friendship with the classical pianist Dr. Donald Shirley (Mahershala Ali), for whom he worked as a driver and bodyguard back in the 1960s. He’s also previously written and directed features including Choker and The Corporate Ladder, and recently appeared in the Sopranos prequel film, The Many Saints of Newark.

Ori and Anthony run the company Aspado Productions focused on stories surrounding the Italian American experience. Other projects in the works there include The Chameleon, a TV series about DEA Agent Frank Panessa, which will be created and written by Steenhoek, with Gallo exec producing alongside Aspado Productions.

Gallo is repped by Gang, Tyre, Ramer; Vallelonga by Gersh; Aspado Productions, Ori Spado and Anthony Spado by Hirsch Wallenstein Hayum; and Mediator Films and Steenhoek by Greenberg Glusker. 

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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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