Brewer, Vantage Creating Gang Leader

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Paramount Vantage has optioned the Sudhir Venkatesh book “Gang Leader for a Day” and set Craig Brewer to direct and “Sopranos” scribe Michael Caleo to write the script, says Variety.

Stephanie Allain, who teamed with Brewer on Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan, will produce. Brewer wrote and directed both of those films, with Paramount Classics distributing the first and Par Vantage the follow-up.

Venkatesh is a Columbia U. professor, and “Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets” recounted years he spent chronicling a crack-dealing gang in Chicago for a research project. He befriended the Black Kings and their leader and was invited to observe close up. Venkatesh found a close-knit group whose corporate culture was much like that of a successful legitimate business. Venkatesh was given the job of calling the shots of the criminal enterprise for a day.