Fox grabs Thatcher Island from BlacKkKlansman screenwriters
Deadline has reported that Fox 2000 has acquired the script for Thatcher Island from BlacKkKlansman screenwriters Charlie Wachtel (Meat and Potatoes) and David Rabinowitz (Harmless). The story is based on real-life criminal Joe “The Animal” Barboza.
The inspiration came from Casey Sherman’s 2013 bestseller “Animal: The Bloody Rise and Fall of the Mob’s Most Feared Assassin,” which highlights the lengths a man will go to in order to achieve their goals. In Joe Barboza’s case, it was murder. A lot of murder.
Here’s the official synopses of the book from Amazon: Joe Barboza knew that there were two requirements for getting inducted into the Mafia: You had to be Sicilian, and you had to commit a contract killing. The New Bedford–born mobster was a proud Portuguese, not Sicilian, but his dream to be part of La Cosa Nostra proved so strong that he thought he could create a loophole. If he killed enough men, if he did enough of the Mafia’s dirtiest biddings, then they would have no choice but to make him a Made Man. Barboza’s brutal rise during one of the deadliest mob wars in U.S. history became the stuff of legend, both on the bloodied streets of Boston and in the offices of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney General. He took sick joy in his crimes, and it became increasingly difficult for the mob to keep the Animal on his leash.
But soon the hunter became the hunted. Betrayed by the mob and now on the run, Boston’s most notorious contract killer forged a Faustian bargain with two unscrupulous FBI agents—a pact that would transform the U.S. criminal justice system. From false testimony and manipulated evidence that sent mob leaders to death row, to the creation of the Witness Protection Program so the feds could protect their prized, cold-blooded witness, this was the horrific, dramatic first act in a story of murder and FBI corruption still being played out today in the news and the courtroom with the capture and trial of Whitey Bulger. Barboza’s legacy, buried for years thanks to the murders or deaths of its participants, is finally coming to light and being told in its unvarnished brutality by one of America’s most respected true crime writers.
Greg Berlanti (Love Simon) and Sarah Schechter (The Flash) are set to produce Thatcher Island. Casey’s other book The Finest Hours was previously adapted into a 2016 movie starring Chris Pine.