Gary Oldman, Malin Akerman and Milo Ventimiglia have joined Michael Clark Duncan in the cast for Criminal Empires for Dummy’s, which will be the first full-length feature directed by Cliff Dorfman, according to Variety. The article states that the film’s plot “centers on a charismatic young man (Ventimiglia) who relates the rules of running a criminal empire through flashbacks to his own rise from a tragic childhood and the ghetto to multinational kingpin.”   Given Dorfman’s work on Entourage and the subject matter of his 2006 short Shoot, it’s likely that his take on syndicated crime will be very stylish, a little mean, and not without humor, though the short description sounds more like epic drama along the lines of Denzel Washington’s American Gangster.

The article states the $10.8 million movie, written by Dorfman, is supposed to begin filming in New Orleans later this month. This will mark a major milestone for Dorfman, not simply because it’s his first step into the role of auteur, but because he’s apparently come close to getting this movie made before.

A synopsis for Criminal Empires for Dummy’s can be found on Arclight Films’  list of projects to be presented at last summer’s Toronto International Film Festival. It was listed as being in pre-production and while that event has come and gone, the synopsis reads:

Lesson One – If you’re gonna be a gangster you’re gonna get caught. Not a matter of if. Just a matter of when. Thus starts our journey as we follow the rise of the infamous Ray Ford. From his severely fractured home, to the U.S. Marine Corps, to the housing projects of the deep south, to running the largest criminal empire known worldwide.

It would be safe to assume that Mr. Ventimiglia will be playing Ray, although it’s possible the names of the characters could have changed- after all, the names of the cast members have. The Film Catalogue still lists Dummies as being an Arclight property, with the attached cast featuring current Captain America candidate Chris Evans, Rachel Bilson, and Harvey Keitel (who Cinematical says is still involved. Which is awesome, because Harvey Keitel is the man.).

Poster for the Arclight Films production.

It also features an extremely spoiler-heavy plot synopsis that paints a better picture of how this story reflects Dorfman’s interest in practically mad-cap rises to glory, as well as some proposed poster art.

Ventimiglia cuts a very different figure than Evans, though I can see both in the role, and I will pay for pretty much anything if Gary Oldman’s involved. With an interesting premise and a solid cast in place, I’m looking forward to seeing how Criminal Empire for Dummy’s progresses.  If there’s one thing I like, it’s a good gangster picture.

Source: Variety (via Cinema Blend)